PictorLabs Launches with More Than $18.8 Million to Advance Transformative Virtual Staining


AI-powered virtual staining demonstrates potential to revolutionize histopathology, simplify lab workflows, and accelerate drug discovery. Financing co-led by M Ventures, SCC Soft Computer and Koç Holding. Founded on technology from UCLA’s Ozcan Research Group, proprietary platform provides sustainable alternative to standard chemical staining practices.

PictorLabs, Inc., a digital pathology company developing an AI-powered virtual staining platform to revolutionize histopathology and accelerate clinical research with the goal of improving patient outcomes, today announced its launch with the completion of a $15.2 million financing round led by M Ventures, SCC Soft Computer, and Koç Holding. Since its founding in 2019, PictorLabs has raised $18.8 million to commercialize virtual staining and reimagine the future of histopathology. Pioneered by co-founders Aydogan Ozcan, Ph.D., UCLA Chancellor’s Professor, and Yair Rivenson, Ph.D., PictorLabs Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, the company’s technology applies deep learning algorithms to efficiently and accurately stain tissues in silico, producing near-instantaneous virtual stains.

From a single unstained tissue sample, PictorLabs’ proprietary platform can produce an unlimited number of virtual stains that are indistinguishable from analogous chemical stains. Current histopathology practices have remained largely unchanged for decades and involve complex chemical-based tissue staining processes with many challenges including prolonged time to results, tissue sample limitations, inconsistent quality of results, and chemical waste
generation which can complicate and delay research and patient diagnoses.

PictorLabs’ novel approach enables the production of unlimited virtual stains from a single unstained tissue sample – eliminating the need for chemical staining, reducing the time to results, and allowing for repeated biomarker testing without the need for multiple tissue samples.
“PictorLabs’ platform overcomes inherent issues in histopathology through the application of AI-powered algorithms that produce virtual stains which are indistinguishable from their chemistry-based counterparts. By virtually staining tissue images in the digital realm, our approach simplifies and accelerates workflows, speeding up drug discovery and diagnostic decision-making with the goal of ultimately improving patient outcomes. With the support of
our experienced investors, we’re now well placed to systematically expand our platform” said Dr. Rivenson.

To date, PictorLabs has demonstrated successful virtual staining for several well-validated disease biomarkers and is pursuing additional opportunities in disease areas with high unmet need. PictorLabs will use this latest round of funding to expand its biomarker portfolio, develop novel products, grow the company’s talent base, and build out its corporate infrastructure. “At M Ventures, we are excited by the results demonstrated by PictorLabs’ virtual staining technology, confirming the broad research potential of its best-in-class platform. We are excited to support PictorLabs in transforming the practice of histopathology while seamlessly integrating within the existing healthcare paradigm, to better support the needs of researchers, clinicians, and importantly patients” said Dr. Bauke Anninga, Principal, M Ventures.

“We’re excited to see PictorLabs advance this next-generation virtual staining technology,” said Melih Poyraz, Koç Holding’s Strategy and Business Development Director. “With the leadership of their talented team of seasoned engineers, physicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who hold an extensive track record of success in bringing medical technologies to market, we look forward to seeing PictorLabs further develop their novel technology to elevate and accelerate the histopathology workflow.”

Recently, PictorLabs established a partnership with Charles River Laboratories as part of their sustainability initiatives to reduce water consumption and chemical waste through the adoption of PictorLabs’ virtual staining technology – demonstrating the rigor of PictorLabs’ technology in a highly productive research setting.