Genentech taps Imbio to develop AI programs for scanning lung diseases

Genentech has inked a multiyear partnership with Imbio to develop artificial-intelligence-powered imaging diagnostics for lung…

Genentech has inked a multiyear partnership with Imbio to develop artificial-intelligence-powered imaging diagnostics for lung diseases for use within the Roche division’s clinical trials, as well as more broadly by physicians.

Imbio’s programs take chest CT scans and provide a visual overlay of lung tissue density, map out the areas of the organ that may be trapping air and quantify measures related to emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including in smokers at risk for lung cancer. These programs have been cleared by the FDA and have received CE marks.

The company also uses machine vision algorithms to analyze the texture of the lungs to spot abnormalities and help diagnose interstitial lung diseases and fibrosis. This has received a CE mark, but is for investigational use only in the U.S.

“Imaging biomarkers have the potential to significantly improve patient diagnosis, selection and understanding of response to therapy,” said James Sabry, global head of Roche Pharma Partnering. “This collaboration, which combines Imbio’s expertise in imaging biomarkers with Genentech’s pulmonary disease expertise, has the potential to enhance drug development and deliver more personalized healthcare.”

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The partnership aims to develop a new set of unique pulmonary imaging solutions, while Imbio will continue to work on its own portfolio of AI offerings. Financial considerations were not disclosed.

“This collaboration is a great example of Imbio’s strategy to meet the growing interest by medical device and pharmaceutical companies in using imaging biomarkers and imaging AI to facilitate diagnosis of respiratory diseases,” CEO David Hannes said.

Early this year, Imbio signed a deal with U.K.-based platform provider Wellbeing Software to deploy its lung density-mapping software to providers in the National Health Service.

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