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Meet Susana Castel: pioneering breast cancer diagnosis with FrontWave Imaging


Bianca Iulia Simion

· 4 min read
Meet Susana Castel: pioneering breast cancer diagnosis with FrontWave Imaging
Meet Susana Castel – a cell biology scientist turned entrepreneur with a mission that's as bold as it is impactful.

Her journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, leading her to co-found FrontWave Imaging, a company focused on revolutionizing breast cancer diagnosis.

Susana's story begins with her roots in science and a knack for business development. Today, she is at the helm of FrontWave Imaging, SL, where the primary objective is to bring early breast cancer diagnosis to the forefront. Their innovative approach involves cutting-edge medical software named UBIware, a product of collaboration between the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Imperial College London.

In the following interview, we delve into Susana Castel's journey, her vision for FrontWave Imaging, SL, and how they're making strides in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. This is a story of science, innovation, and a commitment to a future where breast cancer is diagnosed earlier, allowing for better outcomes and brighter tomorrows.

Could you share the driving force behind Frontwave Imaging's commitment to improving breast cancer diagnosis and its impact on women's health?

The driving force behind Frontwave Imaging's commitment to improving breast cancer diagnosis is rooted in the pressing need for early detection, especially in women with dense breast tissue, where current screening systems like mammograms do not work. We understand the profound impact that an early diagnosis can have on a woman's health and overall well-being. The statistics show that when breast cancer is detected at an early stage, the chances of successful treatment and recovery significantly increase. Our mission is to leverage cutting-edge technology to make this early diagnosis a reality, ultimately leading to better outcomes and improved quality of life for women facing this diagnosis.

Can you share the inspiration behind founding Frontwave Imaging and your vision for the company?

FrontWave Imaging is a deep-tech company spanning the collaboration between two prestigious institutions: the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Imperial College London. Back in 2019, we explored the possibility of re-developing and transferring geophysical imaging algorithms, which had been developed to reconstruct the earth's subsurface, to medical imaging. After delving deeper into the limitations of current screening and diagnosis programs for breast cancer, talking to radiologists, and seeing their positive reaction to the idea, it became clear that our solution, as radical as it sounds, would have a huge impact on women’s lives and revolutionize the medical imaging sector.

Witnessing the potential of advanced imaging technologies in early cancer detection, I envisioned a company that could bridge the gap between scientific supercomputing research and practical, life-saving applications. Our vision is to lead the way in revolutionizing breast cancer diagnosis, providing accessible and accurate solutions that empower both patients and healthcare professionals.

Considering the emotional aspect of breast cancer, how does Frontwave Imaging provide support and resources to empower women through their diagnosis and treatment journey?

Frontwave Imaging recognizes that the journey of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is emotionally challenging. Our software, UBIware, is designed with the user's experience in mind, ensuring it is easy to use and understandable for both healthcare professionals and patients. Breast cancer can be treated and, if diagnosed at an early stage, the survival rates are very high. In FrontWave, we want to save lives by giving women an accurate and early diagnosis. We aim to ensure that every patient feels informed, supported, and empowered throughout their diagnosis and treatment.

Social impact is a vital aspect of any mission-driven organization. How does Frontwave Imaging contribute to the broader fight against breast cancer, and do you engage in any philanthropic initiatives related to women's health?

Frontwave Imaging is deeply committed to its social impact. We aim to contribute to the broader fight against breast cancer through our early diagnosis technology, which has the potential to save lives and reduce the burden on healthcare systems. While we are a relatively young company, we are actively exploring partnerships and philanthropic initiatives related to women's health to further our mission and create a positive societal impact.

Are there specific partnerships or collaborations that Frontwave Imaging has established to reach out to women and medical professionals to raise awareness about early breast cancer detection?

Frontwave Imaging is actively seeking partnerships with organizations, medical professionals, and advocacy groups to raise awareness about early breast cancer detection. We believe that collaboration is key to achieving our goals. By working with these stakeholders, we aim to spread awareness, offer educational resources, and ensure that our technology reaches those who need it most. Currently, we are already collaborating with Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, one of the most prestigious and advanced in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, we are in discussions with various European associations in both Radiology and cancer.

What challenges do you anticipate in the future of healthcare technology, especially in the realm of diagnostics?

The future of healthcare technology, particularly in diagnostics, presents several challenges. One of the primary challenges is ensuring that new technologies are adopted and integrated into healthcare systems effectively. Additionally, data privacy and security are paramount, and regulatory compliance is crucial. We also need to address issues related to equitable access to healthcare technologies to ensure that all communities benefit from advances in diagnostics.

How have Farside Ventures and Capital Cell contributed beyond funding to accelerate Frontwave’s growth and development?

Capital Cell, as a specialized healthcare investment platform, connects the project with small investors and business angels. They made a significant investment in our first funding round in 2021. In addition to introducing the project to new investors, many of the small investors from that initial round have continued to express their confidence in our project by participating in the current funding round.

Farside Ventures SL, as an investor, has actively engaged with our team, offering strategic guidance and mentorship. They've provided critical business development advice, which has been instrumental in refining our market strategy and product development. Additionally, their industry knowledge has opened doors to potential collaborations and partnerships that are vital for our progress.

In summary, the support and expertise from Farside Ventures and Capital Cell extend well beyond financial backing, playing a key role in Frontwave Imaging's journey towards advancing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

What additional support does Frontwave seek from potential investors to bolster its journey toward commercialization?

Frontwave Imaging is looking for investors who can provide not only financial support but also strategic guidance and industry expertise. We seek partners who share our vision and can help us navigate the path to commercialization, expand our reach, and make a meaningful impact on breast cancer diagnosis.

Considering the competitive landscape and the complexity of equity management in the healthcare tech sector, how has Frontwave navigated fundraising challenges? Additionally, is there an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in place or any plans to implement one to incentivize and retain top talent within the company?

Navigating fundraising challenges in the healthcare tech sector requires a strong value proposition and a clear vision, which we've developed. As for equity management, we are actively considering the implementation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to align the interests of our team with the long-term success of Frontwave Imaging. This will help us attract and retain top talent and ensure that everyone shares in our success.

Why should investors join this round, from your perspective?

Investors should consider joining this round because they have the opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking mission to revolutionize breast cancer diagnosis. By investing in Frontwave Imaging, they are contributing to saving lives and improving the quality of life for countless women. Beyond the potential for financial returns, they can be a part of a journey that combines cutting-edge technology, science, and social impact to make a real difference in the world.

Explore Frontwave's round on SeedBlink.

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