Predilife's Journey to Revolutionize Breast Cancer Screening and Women's Health
One woman in 8 is affected by breast cancer. Today, the most effective way of combating the mortality associated with this disease is early detection. And, Predilife’s solution works effectively in this direction.
Exploring the Path: An Insight into the Background of Stéphane Ragusa, Chairman and Founder of Predilife, and the dynamics of his team
Stéphane Ragusa graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique, with a doctorate in biology and is also a lecturer in statistics applied to medicine at the Sorbonne University. After a career in banking and insurance, where he worked on risk prediction models in the financial sector, he turned to health, working for the CNRS and the Institut Pasteur. Working closely with the Institut Gustave Roussy (Europe's leading cancer center, based in Paris), he set up Predilife in 2004 with the aim of improving breast cancer screening through personalisation based on risk assessment, using AI, Big Data and proven medical techniques (imaging, genetic and clinical data).
Thanks to strong academic links in France (Gustave Roussy and the Institut Curie) and the United States (BCSC), they have had privileged access to the main existing databases on women and breast cancer. For 15 years, they have been working on identifying and validating the main risk factors for the disease.
With the support of a high-quality technical team, they have used AI to develop a risk model based on the nearest-neighbours’ method, enabling them to assess a woman's risk of developing cancer so that they can tailor screening to her needs.
Finally, Stéphane is proud to be able to rely on a high-quality, multi-disciplinary team, with equal representation, to bring their solutions to market.
From the genesis to the core purpose
Working closely with the Institut Gustave Roussy (Paris), they found that despite the importance and effectiveness of organised screening, there was still room for improvement. As collective breast cancer screening is based solely on age, they wanted to explore a personalised approach based on the profile of each woman, taking into account imaging data (breast density), genetic data (polygenic risk score) and clinical data (age, family history, etc.).
The aim of Predilife is to use risk assessment to identify women at risk in the general population, so that they can be offered a personalised screening programme (type and frequency of screening) tailored to their profile. The ultimate aim is to encourage early detection of the disease, thereby increasing the chances of survival (95% chance of cure if diagnosed at stage 1 and avoiding costly and time-consuming treatments.
Numerous initiatives, often academic, have been launched to personalise breast cancer screening, particularly for women with a strong family history (Tyrer-Cuzick, Boadicea, etc.). However, their MammoRisk solution is aimed at women from the general population with no strong family history (80% of breast cancers). Finally, software has been designed and developed for use by doctors in everyday practice (quick and easy to use).
Since 2019, the year their solution went on the market, they have carried out extensive assessments, including over 1,000 for hospitals/clinics, more than 1,000 for companies, and a significant 10,000 risk assessments as part of the MyPebs clinical study.
Focus on their innovative test: the MammoRisk®
Their MammoRisk test is based on two main stages: the collection and integration of data into the software and the delivery of a personalised screening programme by the doctor. To assess a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, they first need to collect and enter three types of data into the software: imaging data (breast density from a mammogram), genetic data (polygenic risk score from a saliva sample) and clinical data (age, family history and previous biopsies).
After 14 years of research and development, they marketed their Bilan du Sein to hospitals and clinics in France at the end of 2018. They installed the software and trained healthcare teams to use it so that they can offer it to their patients (B2B2C model). They then exported their solution to Italy, Belgium and the UK.
As part of their drive to democratize their solution, they subsequently developed a 100% digital offering dedicated to businesses, including teleconsultations (B2B model).
What sets them apart from other solutions available on the market - Thanks to their privileged access to the main breast cancer databases available (1.5 million women in the USA via the BCSC and in Europe via the E3N cohort), they have been able to develop a unique risk model enabling an accurate assessment of the risk of breast cancer. Their solution offers very high performance: good discrimination (AUC = 0.7) and perfect calibration (=1).
Industry trends and challenges
The market for predictive and preventive medicine is not very developed today. They have few direct competitors, the main ones being academic players, particularly in the UK. However, with the technological and scientific advances made in recent years and those to come, thanks in particular to AI, personalised medicine represents a major challenge.
Furthermore, Healthcare professionals seem to agree that screening should be personalised. Numerous academic initiatives exist. However, much remains to be done to democratize this approach, particularly among future patients.
The regulations governing genetic testing also represent a major challenge. The framework for these tests varies from one country to another, and regulations are regularly changing. They need to keep a close eye on these issues on a daily basis to ensure that we comply with the various laws.
That’s why the democratization of personalised medicine is one of the obstacles to the deployment of their solution. This approach to medicine, and in particular risk assessment, is not yet widely accepted. Through their dedicated corporate offering, where the payer becomes the employer, their aim is to give women easier access to their solution so that as many women as possible can benefit.
About joining Tech4Eva
“Through the Tech4Eva program, our ambition is to structure an offering that will enable us to export our solution to Europe and the United States. The comprehensive, long-term support we receive, through various workshops and personalised mentoring, gives us a complete overview of the key points and subtleties we need to work on. Identifying and gaining access to key partners represents a unique opportunity for Predilife. The sharing of experience between the different projects is also very rewarding, saving us precious time as these exchanges provide us with concrete information on the development of our project."
"Thanks to the various support services offered by Tech4Eva, our aim is to structure our international offering. The knowledge we have acquired about the various markets, international trade fairs and the quality of the network made available by Tech4Eva will enable us to arrive better prepared and more quickly on our various target markets.”
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