Roche announces PathAI collaboration for artificial intelligence-based digital pathology applications for improved patient care

  • Artificial Intelligence technology shows promise in advancing pathology imaging, which can benefit cancer patients through more precise diagnosis leading to targeted treatment.
  • Collaboration with PathAI expands pathologist access to innovative AI-powered technology to support companion diagnostic and drug development programs.
  • Builds on Roche’s Digital Pathology Open Environment, expanding the company’s commitment to improving patient outcomes and advancing personalised healthcare through innovation

Basel, 15 October 2021 - Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that it has entered an agreement with PathAI, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology for pathology. Under the development and distribution agreement, the companies will jointly develop an embedded image analysis workflow for pathologists. This workflow will allow PathAI image analysis algorithms to be accessed within NAVIFY Digital Pathology, the cloud version of Roche’s uPath enterprise software. This collaboration is now possible through Roche’s Digital Pathology Open Environment, which allows pathologists to securely access third-party AI-powered technology alongside Roche’s growing menu of AI-based image analysis tools.

This agreement with PathAI is among the first to expand digital tools through the Roche open environment, and is one of the first for PathAI to distribute its AI-powered solutions via a third party platform.

“Working together, Roche and PathAI will bring the latest leading technologies to pathologists through our digital pathology solution. Expanded access to a menu of high medical value digital diagnostic tools will further ensure that patients are accurately diagnosed and receive the most effective treatment available,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics.

Roche will initially distribute PathAI-developed research-use-only (RUO) algorithms through NAVIFY Digital Pathology, spanning multiple cancer types. The combined innovation will expand support for healthcare companies’ companion diagnostic and drug development programs.

“This collaboration brings together all of the components required to deliver and commercialise a differentiated AI-based digital pathology medical device including assay, scanner, image management system and algorithm. We believe this partnership will unlock the potential for digital pathology in the companion diagnostics setting, offering a differentiated service to biopharma sponsors and ultimately new opportunities to improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Andy Beck, CEO of PathAI.

About Roche Digital Pathology
As the leading provider of pathology lab solutions, Roche is delivering an end-to-end digital pathology solution from tissue staining to producing high-quality digital images that can be reliably assessed using automated clinical image analysis algorithms.

Whole slide imaging combined with modern artificial intelligence (AI)-based image analysis tools have the potential to transform the practice of pathology. The use of AI and deep learning methods to interpret whole slide images in digital pathology enables pathologists to derive novel and meaningful diagnostic insights from tissue samples. AI-based image analysis automates quantitative tasks and enables fast, repeatable evaluation of information-rich tissue images that are sometimes difficult to interpret manually. AI-based image analysis uncovers aspects that are invisible to the human eye and reduces the risk of human error. Patients, whose tissue samples are analysed using AI-based image analysis, can benefit from a faster and more accurate diagnosis. The insights gained from these analyses can help pathologists determine the best treatment option for cancer patients.

Roche offers two deployment options for its uPath software: an on-premise solution and a cloud solution, marketed as NAVIFY Digital Pathology. The VENTANA DP 200 slide scanner and Roche uPath enterprise software are CE-IVD marked for in-vitro diagnostic use and are available in the U.S. for research use only (RUO). Image analysis algorithms developed by third-party entities and their utilisation are the responsibility of the third party provider.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, as well as growing capabilities in the area of data-driven medical insights help Roche deliver truly personalised healthcare. Roche is working with partners across the healthcare sector to provide the best care for each person.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. In recent years, Roche has invested in genomic profiling and real-world data partnerships and has become an industry-leading partner for medical insights.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the twelfth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2020 employed more than 100,000 people worldwide. In 2020, Roche invested CHF 12.2 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 58.3 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

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