Who is ARTERA? Andre Esteva
Alicia Morgans: Hello. I’m so excited to be here with Andre Esteva, CEO and Co-Founder of Artera. Thank you so much for being with me today.
Andre Esteva: Thanks for having me, Alicia.
Alicia Morgans: Wonderful. Can you tell us, who is Artera and why should we pay attention?
Andre Esteva: Artera is a company that develops medical AI tests that will help personalize treatment for cancer patients. Currently, we have developed a range of tests for patients with prostate cancer, and in the future our long-term mission is to become a global company that helps personalize disease decision-making.
Alicia Morgans: You mentioned artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence, and that has a lot of meanings, I think, in our culture and in science, of course. Why is artificial intelligence or artificial intelligence important for clinical decision making? How can it actually help us do what we do every day and think we do well?
Andre Esteva: The promise of artificial intelligence is very impressive. What AI can do that traditional technologies and computers can’t do is learn from massive amounts of heterogeneous data in ways that people can never hope to learn from. By doing this, you can develop specialized tools to support clinical care.
Alicia Morgans: Can you tell me a little bit about how you make an AI algorithm? What are the components and how do they all come together?
Andre Esteva: Our AI is a unique two-piece multimodal algorithm. One piece learns from images, and the other piece learns from the patient’s clinical data. It’s been trained on massive amounts of data, tens of thousands of patients, hundreds of thousands of pathology slides, and millions of images, all combined to give it the algorithm. Very, very strong predictive and predictive capabilities.
Alicia Morgans: Do these tools replace the doctor or how do they work to contribute to this decision?
Andre Esteva: of course not. We do not replace a doctor’s care in any way, shape, or form. We are complementary to the way physician care is delivered today. Let’s say you have a patient in front of you who has been diagnosed with cancer and you as a doctor are wondering how to treat him. You wonder how aggressive their disease is. You wonder how they will respond to one treatment versus another. This is where AI can step in and help guide treatment for that patient.
Alicia Morgans: Tell me a little bit about Artera’s AI as it relates to pathology. When we make decisions about prostate cancer, for example, we consider clinical or pathologic features that are identified by our pathologist or measured in laboratories, and we try to use that information to understand, to your view in advance, how aggressive the cancer is. How does AI in pathology help us get a better idea of how aggressive a cancer is, or perhaps, how aggressive we need to be about applying certain treatments?
Andre Esteva: The way AI works has two parts. It’s a multimedia AI system, as we call it, that looks at a patient’s digital pathology and also looks at the patient’s clinical data. It integrates these two streams of information to be able to predict two things about the patient; The first, their most likely expectations, and the second, their response to a particular treatment, for example, hormone therapy.
Alicia Morgans: And that’s very important, I think, as we really try to match the patient to a treatment that’s just aggressive enough but doesn’t overdo things in terms of additional side effects that wouldn’t really be associated with a meaningful change in the patient’s disease control outcome, which is important. Extremely. But when I think about this, any additional testing done on the patient might use up tissue or might make it more difficult for me to do more tests in the future. How does AI work in pathology, arterial way I guess, how does that consume tissue? How does that use things up or maybe make it more difficult in the future?
Andre Esteva: This is actually one of the main benefits of taking advantage of AI, is that we don’t consume any texture. The way our tests work is we’ll take a patient’s pathology slide, we’ll digitize it, and we’ll run an AI classifier on it. It takes seconds of cloud computing and then we’ll report back to the referring physician. No tissue is consumed and the pathology slide is not touched.
Alicia Morgans: Well, what’s also interesting and important, from what I hear you say, is that you provide a consolidated report that will give information to the doctor and the patient that really doesn’t depend on any local interpretation or any doctor education or patient education might be necessary with some of the advances in the technology that we have, for example The example is with imaging, where we really rely on the education and experience of the specialist who reads imaging. In this case, we all get the consolidated report. We all get the best information you can give. Is this correct?
Andre Esteva: True. No training is required to understand, interpret, or handle the Artera Report test.
Alicia Morgans: Can you tell me, what have you developed specifically for prostate cancer when it comes to AI?
Andre Esteva: We have developed, at this point, a suite of tests for patients with prostate cancer that will help predict patient outcomes and predict response to treatment. For example, suppose you have an average risk patient in front of you. You are considering primary local radiotherapy and wondering if they would benefit from hormonal therapy as an adjuvant. Our test will tell you.
Alicia Morgans: Wonderful. Are these tests available? Is it in the guidelines or available for clinicians to use through standard courses of care at this point?
Andre Esteva: We are commercially available. Testing can be ordered today, and NCCN guidelines have recommended it to us as the standard of care testing.
Alicia Morgans: Wonderful. Well, I’d like to hear just a closing thought. We’re learning a lot about who Artera is, what the overarching mission is, and how can we think about the AI that Artera provides in our clinical practice to date in relation to prostate cancer, so what’s your message?
Andre Esteva: Our first value is truly patient success. We have developed a suite of tests to support patients who can predict patient outcomes and predict response to treatment. These tests are commercially available today for prostate cancer and in the future will be commercially available across a variety of cancers.
Alicia Morgans: Wonderful. Well, thank you very much for helping us get to work so quickly, it was really a pleasure talking to you.
Andre Esteva: Thank you, Alicia, it’s great to be here.