CellVoyant’s platform combines AI with live cell imaging

CellVoyant – an AI biotechnology spin-out from the University of Bristol – has announced a £7.6 million funding round.

Led by Octopus Ventures – with additional participation from Horizons Ventures, Air Street Capital and Verve Ventures – the funding represents the first stage in commercialising CellVoyant’s first of its kind AI and imaging platforms.

Meanwhile, the company now aims to enable the rapid development of novel cell therapies.

Stem cells unlock a wide range of treatment possibilities that have not historically been available to patients. Indeed, current treatments tend to act on the body’s existing cells, while stem cells have the potential to develop into different cell types in the body – replacing dysfunctional cells or regenerating damaged tissues and organs.

CellVoyant’s platform combines advanced AI with live cell imaging to address pain points. The technology can extract spatial and temporal information in real-time from hundreds of millions of cells.

This process assists scientists in understanding cell composition, allowing them to forecast precisely how they will evolve.

Rafael E. Carazo Salas, CEO at CellVoyant, explains: “Cell therapies have the potential to revolutionise the way we treat diseases that affect millions of people every year.”

He added: “By combining the latest advances in AI and live cell imaging, we can help bring these transformative treatments to the market quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively. Today’s milestone validates the potential of our approach and will help us to accelerate our R&D capabilities.”

Uzma Choudry, lead biotech investor at Octopus Ventures, reflected: “University spin-outs like CellVoyant are at the heart of the UK’s thriving biotech ecosystem.

“CellVoyant sets a new standard in precision and reliability for predicting and controlling stem cell behaviour, which will make cell therapies more accessible to those who need them. We are thrilled to invest into a company that is transforming how patients can benefit from life-changing treatments.”

Proceeds from the funding round will also be used to increase headcount, expand experimental infrastructure and support R&D.