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Press / Press Releases

Introducing Ezra, the AI startup creating a new way to screen for cancer

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Nov. 15 2018 by admin

New York, NY – November 15, 2018 (embargoed for 6am EST) – Ezra, the company focused on creating a new way to screen for cancer, today announces the launch of its prostate cancer screening program. Ezra provides a direct-to-consumer membership that offers men the ability to get a prostate MRI scan and have it analyzed by radiologists to help screen for cancer. In conjunction with the launch, the company is announcing a $4M seed round led by Accomplice. Additional strategic investors include Founders Future, Credo Ventures, Seedcamp, Esther Dyson and a number of startup founders and angel investors.

Currently available as an invite-only private beta program in New York City for $999 per year, Ezra is partnering with the nation’s leader in outpatient imaging, RadNet, Inc. (“RadNet”). Ezra’s members will be able to get their prostate MRI scans at RadNet’s Lenox Hill Radiology facility in Manhattan (61 East 77th Street, New York, NY). Additional facilities are scheduled to be enrolled through 2019.

Prostate cancer is the highest incidence and the second leading cause of cancer death among American men, behind lung cancer. About 1 in 41 men will die of prostate cancer. Today prostate cancer screening is done using a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, followed by a prostate biopsy if PSA levels are elevated. But research shows that PSA levels are often inaccurate, resulting in overdiagnosis and unnecessary biopsies. Prostate biopsies may also have side effects such as bleeding, infection, urinary issues, and erectile dysfunction.

Ezra uses MRI scans that are analyzed by board-certified radiologists to help screen for prostate cancer. A recent study has shown that if prostate biopsies were directed by MRI findings, up to 18% more cases of clinically significant cancer might be detected, compared to the standard pathway of prostate biopsy for all. Furthermore, the same study has shown that using MRI to triage men might allow 27% of patients avoid an unnecessary biopsy.

The company is also developing artificial intelligence technology, the Ezra AI, designed to assist radiologists in their analysis and potentially make them more accurate and productive. The company intends to seek marketing authorization from the FDA in 2019. With a team of seasoned academics, AI scientists, radiologists and healthcare professionals, Ezra’s ultimate mission is to offer whole-body MRI scans in a single session and use the Ezra AI to quickly and accurately diagnose potential cancerous abnormalities anywhere in a person’s body.

“We should all check our bodies for cancer as part of our routine health regimen. To make that possible, we’re aiming to combine a better patient experience with the most advanced medical imaging technology and the Ezra AI. Our goal is to improve the speed, accuracy and affordability of cancer screening” said Emi Gal, CEO & co-founder of Ezra.

“Ezra’s uniqueness stands as much in the company’s investigational AI technology as it does in its innovative consumer-centric cancer screening model,” said John Crues, M.D. RadNet’s Medical Director. “I am excited to be partnering with Emi and his team to make MRI-based prostate cancer screening available to all men at risk of prostate cancer.”

“Emi, his CTO and co-founder, Diego Cantor, PhD, and their team are working to bring fast, affordable, and accurate cancer screening to everyone, and we’re humbled to be able to back them,” said Sarah A. Downey, Principal at Accomplice.

“I am incredibly excited by such an important mission and am looking forward to working with the Ezra team to build a meaningful global company,” said Marc Menase, Partner at Founders Future.

For more information and to sign up for an Ezra membership, please visit ezra.ai.

For press images, screenshots, and other visual assets, please visit our Dropbox.

About Ezra

Ezra is a company dedicated to providing early cancer detection for everyone by combining the most advanced medical imaging technology and Artificial Intelligence. Our ultimate goal is to offer a whole-body MRI scan in a single session and analyze it using the Ezra AI to quickly and accurately diagnose potential abnormalities anywhere in the body.

The Ezra AI is a technology currently in development that’s designed to make radiologists more accurate and more productive. The Ezra AI is an investigational device that has not received marketing authorization from the FDA. The safety and effectiveness of the device have not yet been established. After further study of our AI technology, we plan to seek FDA clearance in 2019 and subsequently make the Ezra AI available to radiologists.

Ezra is headquartered in New York, with R&D operations in Toronto.  

About RadNet, Inc.

RadNet, Inc. is the leading national provider of freestanding, fixed-site diagnostic imaging services in the United States based on the number of locations and annual imaging revenue. RadNet has a network of 304 owned and/or operated outpatient imaging centers. RadNet’s core markets include California, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. In addition, RadNet provides radiology information technology solutions, teleradiology professional services and other related products and services to customers in the diagnostic imaging industry. Together with affiliated radiologists, and inclusive of full-time and per diem employees and technicians, RadNet has a total of over 7,500 employees.  For more information, visit http://www.radnet.com.