Stanford University spinout Deepcell said on Monday that it has closed a $20 million Series A financing round.
Mountain View, California-based Deepcell said it would use the funding to continue development of its microfluidics-based cell sorting and analysis technology and to build a cell morphology atlas of more than 400 million cells.
“Cell morphology is a phenotype with a long history in clinical application that has to date been based on the eyes of a human expert,” Deepcell CEO and Cofounder Maddison Masaeli said in a statement. “Deepcell is bringing this phenotype into modern use by adding scale, interpretability, and actionability, thanks to our innovations in AI, microfluidics, and multiomics.”
“By taking cell morphology into the digital age, Deepcell has the potential to revolutionize the field, in a similar way that high-performance computing enabled dramatic advances in genomics and transcriptomics,” Vijay Pande, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said in a statement.
Founded in 2017, Deepcell is building a platform to isolate, analyze, and classify individual cells, based on methods developed by Stanford Professor and Cofounder Euan Ashley. Its technology maintains cell viability for single-cell analysis and can find “rare cells and atypical cell states that will help advance precision medicine research” based on differences in cell morphology, the firm said. Ashley is also a cofounder of cancer diagnostics firm Personalis.
Deepcell’s technology will initially be available as a service for use in translational research as well as in diagnostics and therapeutic development.