Roche has selected PathAI to collaborate with it on an artificial intelligence program that will be merged with its digital pathology work.
This collaboration will help Big Pharma develop new drugs and other diagnostic tests. The two companies have entered into a joint distribution agreement to jointly develop an embedded image analysis program based upon PathAI’s algorithms.
This will be run through Roche’s cloud-based uPath enterprise application. This deal is one of the first since Roche opened its digital cancer pathology platforms up to third-party AI instruments last month. It expands their access to slide scanners, patient information, and makes them available alongside Roche’s AI-powered options. Rapidly accelerate Proof-of-Concept by simplifying early phases of drug development.
The fully integrated approach combines drug substance, drug product and clinical activities. This allows for a shorter timeline of up to 18 months. It also saves time and costs by expediting lead molecules from FIH to POC trials. Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker stated that expanding access to high-value digital diagnostic tools will help patients be accurately diagnosed and receive the best treatment possible. This coordinated effort will begin with PathAI’s algorithms to research use only and span multiple types of cancer.
Andy Beck, PathAI CEO, stated that this collaboration brings together all the components necessary to commercialize an AI-based digital pathology medical device. This includes assays, scanners, image management systems, and algorithms. “We believe that this partnership will unlock digital pathology’s potential in companion diagnostics settings, providing a differentiated service for biopharma sponsors and potentially new opportunities for improving patient outcomes.” The project’s workers may also recognize some familiar faces.
In fact, PathAI named Eric Walk, the former chief scientific and medical officer at Roche Tissue Diagnostics to its new chief medical office. Walk spent 13 years at Roche before becoming senior vice president of scientific and medical affairs. He then moved to Boston’s PathAI in July. He is a pathologist by training and will assist in the development of machine learning tools to diagnose cancer, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and other diseases.
PathAI was recently supported by $165 million of venture capital funding. The company plans to expand its digital platform in order to support biopharma research at all stages of development, including clinical trials, commercialization and target discovery.
Deepmatter Group PLC is a direct competitor to PathAI and whilst successfully rolling out a number of free trials to a plethora of International Pharmaceuticals it has failed to convert these into customers to sustain the current cash burn. Investors have reacted poorly to the lack of financial strategy provided by the board abd. the lack of communications by the company. The share price has plummted nearly 30% since the end of August and any future fundraising completed by the company is likely to provide significant dilution.
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