PlayBeyondBio 2021 – Nine startups selected in the race to diagnose and predict future challenges to healthcare systems


The startups will be awarded fast-track assistance, focusing on commercialization agreements, implementation, and investments from the program’s partners – JVP Fund, global pharma giant AstraZeneca, international consulting firm Accenture, Margalit Startup City community, AWS, and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Among the startups taking part in the program:

  • Itamar Medical, which raised over $300 million, and trades on the NASDAQ with a market capitalization of over half a billion dollars
  • Medial Earlysign which has raised over $150 million
  • C2I Genomics that has raised over $100 million.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 – The nine digital healthcare startups that will join the PlayBeyondBio initiative, led by the venture capital fund JVP, British-Swedish pharma giant, AstraZeneca, international consulting firm Accenture, Margalit Startup City, Amazon AWS, and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, have been selected.

The selected startups were revealed this week at a special event that took place at the Margalit Startup City Center for Excellence in Jerusalem, attended by leaders of Israel’s medical and pharmaceutical sectors, together with prominent investors and industry professionals.

Dedicated teams made up of PlayBeyondBio’s strategic partners, thoroughly examined many dozens of candidates, including mature companies with existing products and substantial market valuations. The companies selected echoed the Israeli hi-tech ecosystem that is continually seeking to identify and promote mature, active companies, with track records and proven potential.

Among the startups that will participate in the program are: Itamar Medical, which raised over $300 million, and trades on the NASDAQ with a market capitalization of over half a billion dollars; Medial Earlysign which has raised over $150 million; C2I Genomics which has raised over $100 million, and others.

In accordance with the program’s criteria, during the selection process an emphasis was placed on companies that develop tools capable of predicting and pre-diagnosing illnesses with which the healthcare systems of the new era must contend. Particular focus was given to the world’s three of the world’s leading causes of death: oncological illnesses, heart and kidney diseases, and respiratory illnesses.

As part of the six month program, the selected startups will benefit from being put on a fast-track path centering around pilot development, validation projects, and investments from the program’s partners, including a package that covers mentoring on medical, regulation and go to market models ,  as well as  guidance from in building a winning business framework, and the possibility of receiving an investment, , and sessions with senior experts from Accenture and AWS along with KOL advice from Shaare Zedek 

The 9 startups selected for the program:

  1. C2i Genomics– provides personalized technology for cancer monitoring based on standard blood tests, to address the unmet need for treatment failure detection, affecting millions of patients. The method is based on whole-genome sequencing (WGS), generation of personalized genomic characteristics, and utilization of artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms, enabling early detection of disease recurrence. The diagnostic service is provided to research institutes and laboratories worldwide via a cloud-based platform, providing reduction of cancer treatment costs and enabling rapid development of drugs. Using C2i’s solution, physicians are equipped with real-time intelligence for informed clinical decision-making, months and even years before they would otherwise.
  2. Nucleai- a precision medicine company that has developed an AI-powered image analysis platform to unlock the power of spatial biology from pathology images. Nucleai’s platform, built and trained off large-scale proprietary datasets, leverages computer vision and deep neural networks to structure and characterize tissue and cell architecture in pathology images to identify spatial characteristics that predict response to therapy and inform treatment decisions. We are currently partnered with leading pharmaceutical companies to discover novel spatial biomarkers, develop pathology-based companion diagnostics assays and drive improved patient outcomes.
  3. Itamar Medical– Itamar Medical is a medical technology company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of non-invasive medical devices and solutions to aid in the diagnosis of Sleep Breathing Disorders and early detection of exacerbation in COPD patients. The FDA cleared Loop system is a multi-vital sign wearable wristband and real time analytics, designed for remote monitoring of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allowing the detection of early signs of exacerbation before symptoms are noticeable. It is a game changing tool for providers serving COPD patient populations that reduces costly hospital admissions and provides peace of mind for patients and caregivers.
  4. Medial Earlysign- Medial EarlySign is a world class leader in clinical AI, turning clinical data to meaningful insights, that are used to support clinical decisions, to unleash the potential of complex biomarkers, and to help with the design of clinical trials. Our work is rooted in more than 10 years of experience, millions of health care records, and evidence-based, peer-reviewed published research. We effectively develop and tailor algorithms using our machine learning framework. With some of the world’s leading health systems and diagnostic/life sciences companies as customers, our algorithms are designed to have daily impact on care given to patients – insights to help keep patients healthier longer.
  1. Ibex Medical Analytics- Ibex pioneers AI-based cancer diagnostics in pathology. We use artificial intelligence to develop clinical-grade algorithms and workflows that identify cancer as accurately as a human pathologist, helping pathologists and healthcare providers improve cancer diagnoses, efficiencies, and health economics. Our Galen™ platform is the first-ever AI-powered solution used in routine clinical practice in pathology. It is deployed at pathology institutes worldwide, with demonstrated success in improving diagnostic quality, detecting missed cancer cases and reducing turnaround times and operating costs.
  1. Octopus– health offers a personal healthcare assistant for patients. The solution is targeted towards chronic/complex patients and has been found to improve patient adherence to their care plans as well as better manage their condition. Octopus. health’s platform allows behavioral analysis of patients’ adherence to treatment plans, thus can promote solutions to gaps when those are identified. Moreover, the solution provided by Octopus. health, applies innovative and unique AI and machine learning capabilities that allow prediction of patient adherence to medication and treatment plans. Such prediction capabilities can support clinicians when setting treatment plans to certain patients and adapt these plans accordingly to reach better adherence. 
  1. Imagene- provides an Al-based genomic testing solution to assist cancer patients in receiving the optimal treatment that medicine can offer by leveraging their biopsy image for personalized therapeutics. Using proprietary deep learning algorithms, we detect the presence of cancer-specific biomarkers from the biopsy image only. Imagene brings accurate, fast, affordable, actionable, standardized, and routine screening to all cancer patients. We support real precision medicine, looking at all available actionable biomarkers to overcome logistic, financial, and technological limitations that often inhibit cancer patients from receiving the best possible treatments for their individual conditions.
  1. iCardio- ai designs machine learning algorithms for everything echo, leveraging a database of 200M+ individual echo images and the Platform. Our mission is to automate the entire interpretation of echo using AI. We maintain a vast network of echo-technicians, echocardiographers, and cardiologists, to both collect and annotate data. We have developed dozens of individual deep learning solutions for both the calculation of linear, area, and volumetric measurements as well as disease and abnormality detection and classification. We serve large enterprise clients, including the world’s largest ultrasound vendor, GE Healthcare. We provide data collection, algorithmic development, and clinical study support.
  1. Cordio– CORDIO MEDICAL provides medical grade, groundbreaking solutions to monitor several health conditions by analyzing voice/speech samples recorded in a simple mobile app backed by sophisticated and proprietary signal speech processing algorithms allowing near real-time monitoring and early detection of condition deterioration. Using only patient speech, sampled via mobile device, the Cordio HearO™ can sense fluid accumulation related
    to CHF and alert healthcare professionals in real-time. This is the only non-invasive, easy to use medical grade, CHF monitoring device that offers patients and caretakers peace of mind and a true sense of control.

Erel Margalit, Founder and Chairman of JVP and Margalit Startup City: “The world has changed, the world health system has changed, and today it faces new, great challenges. This requires significant technological developments and Israel is a major player in this great evolving story. The nine companies selected, come with technological innovations in various stages of development: some already mature and operating in global markets.  Together with our partners – Astraznica, Accenture, AWS and Shaare Zedek Medical Center, – we will help these companies move on to the next stage on the way to becoming a larger and more significant.”

Ohad Goldberg, Company President, AstraZeneca Israel: “AstraZeneca is proud to take part in the second cycle of the PlayBeyondBio program, alongside our partners. The COVID19 pandemic has accelerated the need for investment in digital health. Today more than ever it’s clear that advances in remote monitoring, telemedicine and digital health are vital areas for the healthcare industry. AstraZeneca sees such investments in digital technologies to support diagnosis, prediction and prevention of diseases as a key part of its effort to improve healthcare delivery in Israel”

Shimon Elkabetz, Accenture Israel’s Country Managing Director: “The nine start-ups selected to take part in the program were accepted after a rigorous and thorough selection process that saw before its eyes the need of the hour and the opportunities inherent in medicine in the next decade. As a company that proudly carries the banner of technological leadership and innovation around the world, we have no doubt that this leading team faithfully represents the best up and coming trends in the worlds of Medtech and Wellness from the implementation of artificial intelligence applications and advanced Big Data processing, through Advanced smart imaging systems and genetic diagnosis intended for personalized treatment. I am hopeful that this partnership, which puts at its core  Israeli entrepreneurs and the groundbreaking technologies that are being created here, will be an impactful starting point for revolutionary medical solutions that will address patients in Israel and around the world and improve their quality of life.”

Prof. Dan Turner, Deputy Director General for R&D at Shaare Zedek: “In every aspect of development relating to digital technologies, medical data and bio markers serve as the critical infrastructure that fuels new innovations.  Here at Shaare Zedek, we are uniquely positioned to provide data and biological samples in an ideally secure manner. But that infrastructure also comes alongside the clinical know-how that allows those resources to become that much more relevant and applicable for companies involved with developing new medical products and innovations.  Our massive data servers are home to data markers originating from hundreds of thousands of medical files each year. Our direct contribution to the technology development process is to advance access to this critical data and knowledge in ways that can be tested in real clinical settings while always ensuring the highest levels of patient privacy.”

About AstraZeneca –

AstraZeneca is a leading international pharmaceutical company, driven by innovation, that initiates and advances the research, development, and marketing of novel prescription drugs. The company is active in a number of core areas, including cancer, heart and blood vessels, metabolic and respiratory illnesses, areas in which the company has developed groundbreaking medications. The company operates in over 100 countries around the globe and in 2007 AstraZeneca Israel was established as the international company’s official representative in Israel. AstraZeneca was selected as the world’s most innovative drug company by the IDEA Pharma international index owing to the impressive scope of its future drug pipeline and pioneering clinical research. The company has a number of innovation centers and technological incubators around the world, including, amongst others, in China, Sweden and France.

About JVP –

JVP was founded in 1993 by Dr. Erel Margalit, is an internationally renowned VC fund. Among the pioneering firms of the Israeli VC industry, JVP has been instrumental in building some of the world’s largest companies to emerge, facilitating numerous IPOs on NASDAQ, including CyberArk Software (NASDAQ: CYBR, $4.7 billion mkt. cap.), QLIK Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK, then $4 billion mkt. cap.) and Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI, $3 billion mkt. cap.) as well as many large industry sales. Over the past decade, JVP has spearheaded the creation of international Centers of Excellence, including the AI and Media center in Jerusalem, the Cyber Center in Beer Sheva, the Foodtech and Agritech center in the Galilee, the International Cyber and FinTech center in NYC, in partnership with NYC/EDC and the leading universities of the city. Recently JVP has decided to open a newly emerging center in the UAE that will be a new chapter for Israeli technologies to engage with the region.

About Accenture –

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 537,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities.

About Margalit Startup City Community-

Dr. Erel Margalit, Founder and Chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), one of the top six venture capital firms (VCs) worldwide. Recognized as one of the architects of the Start-up Nation, Dr. Margalit is a world-renowned business and social entrepreneur who developed a private public partnership (PPP) model to create tech-driven ecosystems in Jerusalem and Beer Sheva. Israel Initiative 2020 is a leading Israeli NGO (ii2020) was established by Dr. Erel Margalit in 2013, based on his socio-economic vision to advance higher quality employment within these regions. Recognizing the huge opportunity for growth, Margalit Startup City Community is working to bring the innovation revolution to these regions, reducing the gaps and promoting prosperity throughout society creating seven regions of excellence from north to south.

About Shaare Zedek Medical Center-

Shaare Zedek Medical Center is a fast-developing center of advanced medicine experiencing particularly dramatic growth over the past decade.  The hospital currently treats nearly one million patients annually in more than 30 inpatient departments and an additional 70 outpatient units and clinics – with a staff of over 4,500 employees.  The hospital’s more than 1,000 physicians are furthermore dedicated to scientific and technological advancement to promote the forward development of medicine both in Israel and around the world.  Medical research and development is the specific focus of a hospital subsidiary, Shaare Zedek Scientific, responsible for ongoing scientific collaborations with relevant partners in academia, the startup industry, and other local and global corporations operating in many diverse sectors.

Back to Press releases