Thinkcyte, a company involved in the R&D of “high-speed cell sorting technology based on image recognition,” a real-time cell sorting system powered by AI that is based on next-generation high-speed, high-precision image recognition technology, announced that it has successfully raised funds through third-party allocation of shares.

The three underwriters are “Future Creation Fund No. 2” of leading investor Sparx Group, “Technology Ventures No. 5 ILP” of Itochu Technology Ventures, as well as Fuyo General Lease.

Thinkcyte has raised a total of 1.65 billion yen (around $15.11 million) in its Series A round of financing, including the funds raised through third-party allotment of shares in 2019 whose underwriters included SBI Group, “Realtech Funds No. 1 & No. 2 ILP” of Realtech Japan, as well as “OUVC No. 1 ILP” of Osaka University Venture Capital.

Masatoshi Fukami, Representative Director & Vice President of Sparx Group offered the following comments. “Medical technology utilizing AI is being released every day and it certainly seems like we are now in the germinal stages of AI-based healthcare which is anticipated to gain traction soon. In view of this, Thinkcyte’s ghost cytometry technology (GC technology) is the only high-speed sorting technology based on image recognition that combines cutting-edge technologies such as AI, high-speed imaging technology, and microfluidic technology. I strongly believe that this innovative technology will become fundamental to tackling existing challenges in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics.”

“As with any good treatment method, not many patients will be able to benefit from it if it is too expensive. One such example may be CAR-T therapy, which has attracted much attention for both its high treatment efficacy and expensive drugs. Moving forward, I believe that GC technology can contribute to the reduction of production costs while raising the treatment efficacy of CAR-T therapy, whose applications are expected to go beyond treatment for blood cancers to include solid tumors as well. This is likely to be very encouraging news for patients who are battling cancer,” Fukami continued.

On the recent outbreak of COVID-19, he offered the following concluding remarks. “The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed everyone to truly recognize the importance of healthcare. We have high expectations that GC technology has the potential to be utilized as a drug discovery screening method in the development of a treatment method for COVID-19. The Future Creation Fund will continue to offer our full support to Thinkcyte, a company that possesses technology that is integral to the design of excellent treatment methods.”