Washington D.C., USA – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) and Definiens, a Germany-based company specializing in image analysis solutions, today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop and market clinical decision support solutions for digital pathology.
Leveraging its expertise in medical imaging and healthcare informatics solutions (e.g. radiology Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS)), Philips is committed to delivering highly integrated solutions for digital pathology. Accurate and robust image analysis applications for quantifying biomarkers and histological features in tissue samples, both of which are core competencies at Definiens, are an essential element of such solutions.
The intended initial project between Philips and Definiens will focus on immunohistology-based breast cancer diagnostics, which includes the detection of biomarkers HER2, Estrogen Receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR), Ki67 and p53. Philips and Definiens also plan to investigate solutions for other cancers such as prostate and colon cancer.
“The memorandum of understanding with Definiens underpins Philips’ objective of offering a full suite of image analysis tools that can be used in combination with mainstream histological staining techniques and procedures in pathology,” says Bob van Gemen, General Manager of Philips Digital Pathology. “As a result of ageing societies, there will be many more sick people in the world that need to be accurately and efficiently diagnosed. I am convinced that the combined knowledge of Philips and Definiens will result in meaningful innovations in pathology to speed up procedures and help pathologists in their decision making.”
“We are very excited about this best-in-class alliance that brings together Philips, a well known leader in medical imaging and image management systems, and Definiens, the world-wide leader in image intelligence,” said Thomas Heydler, CEO of Definiens. “This collaboration will play a major role in advancing health intelligence and contribute towards more accurate clinical diagnosis and treatment, which are two key hallmarks in the drive towards affordable and personalized healthcare.”
Currently, anatomic pathologists examine tissue slices, after treating them with appropriate stains, through a microscope. The aim of staining is to reveal specific biomarkers of disease (such as cancer-related proteins) or to enhance contrast. Digitization of the images is now enabling the use of objective and quantitative image analysis tools. The expected benefits of this development include enhanced operational efficiency and productivity for pathology departments, and increased diagnostic confidence.
Philips and Definiens will both be exhibiting at the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology 2010 annual meeting (March 20-26, Washington DC, USA), and invite interested parties to visit their respective exhibition booths for more information.