OptraScan to invest Rs 50 cr towards manufacturing unit
OptraScan has tied up with Nikon Instruments to distribute the product in North America, and has seven other distribution partnerships for India, Malaysia, Germany, UK, China, and Japan.
OptraScan CEO Abhi Gholap told ET that the company had recently completed trials for the solution and now was starting to market it commercially. The company sold 150 systems globally last year out of which 35 systems are installed and functional while others are being manufactured and supplied.
It has tied up with Nikon Instruments to distribute the product in North America, and has seven other distribution partnerships for India, Malaysia, Germany, UK, China, and Japan.
OptraScan has come up with a digital pathology solution, a whole-slide digital scanner, that would effectively replace the microscopes used by pathologists in labs. The product would scan the slides and analyse the images by applying artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms as per the protocols established by the College of American Pathologists.
“We’ve got an accuracy level of over 95%,” said Gholap. “Because this is done digitally, it is easily repeatable and scalable. We are also in the process of launching world’s first OnDemand TELEPathology network towards uberization of pathology services.”
The company is looking at offering this solution to labs in smaller towns where access to a highly skilled pathologist may not always be possible. The scanned slides can easily be transferred to a lab in one of the bigger cities where it can then be double-checked by a pathologist.
Gholap said that the solution could be used for screening different kinds of cancer, along with other infections and inflammatory diseases. The product is currently being used at 20 different sites globally, processing more than 35,000 cancer tissue slides. This includes Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, SRL labs and Zydus Pharmaceuticals in India, and University of Pittsburg Medical Center, Yale School of Medicine, Duke Medical Center, among others, in the USA.
The other advantage it has is that in 2018, it undertook a mass validation study under Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP), initiated by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). This received an approval from the Government of India for mass validation and use of its digital pathology system in research and medical settings which allows it to work with several large hospitals and research networks to use a hub-and-spoke model to provide real-time access to slides and cases to pathologists. The approval follows a study that included 3,300 cases.