Early-stage developer Altoida said yesterday that it raised $6.3 million in a Series A round of financing to support its novel, artificial intelligence powered Alzheimer’s prediction and detection technology.
Altoida produces and supports an AI-powered medical device designed to collect functional and cognitive biomarkers to help detect Alzheimer’s disease up to ten years prior to onset, with claimed accuracy of up to 94%. The device has FDA clearance and CE Mark approval in the European Union, the company added.
The device analyzes visuospatial and executive function during complex daily life activities through three tests asking patients to hide and seek virtual objects in a physical space, Altoida said. The system has been validated in more than 12 peer-reviewed journal publications and more than 200 independent studies, and is actively in use across the EU, Brazil and the U.S., the company added.
“Searching for early, more accurate and scalable preclinical markers of Alzheimer’s disease has been the holy grail for clinicians, researchers and pharma companies alike that are trying to predict Alzheimer’s-type cognitive decline and develop early interventions. The ability of Altoida’s digital biomarkers platform to collect very sensitive and ecologically valid markers of early functional and cognitive changes in the most scalable way, by using only a mobile phone or tablet, is unmatched by today’s medical tests and a game changer for the field,” chief scientific officer Dr. Ioannis Tarnanas said in prepared remarks.
The round was led by M Ventures and joined by Grey Sky Venture Partners, VI Partners AG, Alpana Ventures and Fyrfly Venture Partners, the Houston-based company said.
“Altoida has the potential to be a ubiquitous Alzheimer’s screening and monitoring tool that is safe, effective and leads to better patient outcomes, and as rolled out more broadly, could significantly lower health care costs. Unlike other detection solutions that collect passive data or only focus on a single behavior, Altoida collects a wide range of ‘active’ digital biomarkers as the patient is moving and completing tasks. They’ve amassed a vast dataset that not only helps them diagnose Alzheimer’s with unprecedented accuracy, but is tremendously valuable for ongoing research,” Fyrfly Venture Partners managing director Philipp Stauffer said in prepared comments.
“Altoida is at the forefront of a new era to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess brain health. Our investment reflects our belief that digital biomarkers are the future and might lead to earlier diagnosis, and potentially better supportive care for a wide range of brain diseases. Altoida promises to deepen our understanding of brain health and contribute with positive impact on medicine and society,” M Ventures new businesses principal Alexander Hoffmann said in a press release.
Funds raised in the round will be used to support continued global expansion, with an immediate focus on commercialization activities in the U.S. and EU markets, Altoida said.
“While we know that early detection of Alzheimer’s is the key and leads to better outcomes, only 16% of seniors today receive regular assessments in the US, and this situation becomes more critical as we look at other geographic regions. Today’s diagnostic methods are either outdated, costly and invasive, or highly nuanced. We are taking aim at this acute problem with a fast, fun, accurate and scalable AI-driven solution that collects digital biomarkers to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s as early as ten years before symptoms appear – we like to call them ‘micro errors’. Our software or app is designed to be used by a wide range of healthcare professionals, from primary care physicians to neurologists to insurance companies, in order to make early detection accessible to more people around the world with the goal of significantly delaying the onset of MCI due to AD – and resulting in an overall cost reduction,” CEO Dr. Richard Fischer said in a prepared statement.