Philips and Definiens begin developing digital pathology image analysis solutions for cancer diagnosis

December 16, 2010

Munich, Germany / Washington, D.C. – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) and Definiens, the number one Health Image IntelligenceTM company, today announced the companies have signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop a digital pathology system to support clinical diagnosis of several types of cancer, beginning with breast cancer. The companies will integrate Definiens’ image analysis solutions into Philips’ comprehensive imaging systems, providing pathologists with tools for assessment of immunohistochemically stained cancer tissue.


Pathologists examine tissue slices treated with appropriate stains to reveal specific biomarkers of disease (such as cancer-related proteins) or the structure of tissues, which can indicate disease state. By automating biomarker expression analysis and characterization of tissue morphology, Philips and Definiens aim to help pathologists generate more consistent and standardized data from tissue samples. The automated process will provide oncologists and physicians with comprehensive data designed to enhance treatment decisions and patient care.


In the initial project, the companies will focus on immunohistology-based breast cancer diagnostics, including biomarkers such as HER2/neu, Estrogen Receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR), Ki-67 and p53. Subsequently, Definiens plans to develop software to support analysis of Hematoxylin & Eosin (H&E) stained tissue.
“We believe the partnership between Philips and Definiens will provide pathologists with accurate and powerful data to help improve clinical diagnosis and treatment decisions,” said Thomas Heydler, CEO of Definiens. “Our software is uniquely suited to automate both biomarker expression profiles within the context of specific morphology as well as tissue structure, and can generate meaningful information to help oncologists choose the right treatment options based on each patient’s disease state.”


“Modern pathology labs are coming under continued pressure to increase throughput and efficiency while maintaining or improving quality, particularly in the diagnosis of cancer,” says Bob van Gemen, General Manager of Philips Digital Pathology. “By digitizing the images with our fast slide scanner and easy to use image management system, Philips’ goal is to empower pathologists and help them to enhance the operational efficiency and productivity as well as improving diagnostic confidence.”


While the initial project focuses on breast cancer diagnostics, Philips and Definiens also plan to develop similar approaches for other cancers, such as prostate and colon cancer.

Definiens, Definiens Cognition Network Technology, Definiens Cellenger, Definiens Tissue Studio, Definiens LymphExpert, Enterprise Image Intelligence and Understanding Images are trademarks or registered trademarks of Definiens.

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About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 118,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


About Definiens

Definiens is the number one Health Image Intelligence company for analyzing and interpreting images on every scale – from microscopic cell structures to full body scans. The Definiens Cognition Network Technology®, developed by Nobel laureate Prof. Gerd Binnig and his team, is an advanced and robust context-based technology designed to fulfill the image analysis requirements of the Healthcare markets. It is modeled on the powerful human cognitive perception processes to extract intelligence from images.


Definiens supports biopharmaceutical companies, clinical service organizations, and academic research institutions by automating image analysis - from drug discovery to diagnostics. The company’s image analysis software enables the interpretation of vast numbers of digital images accurately and consistently. Definiens software for digital pathology and radiology images reveals biologically relevant insights for the advancement of translational research and personalized medicine. Definiens provides organizations with faster image analysis results, allowing deeper insights enabling better medical decisions. The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and has offices throughout the United States. Further information is available at