Bayer, Sensyne spin AI collaboration into global LifeHub imaging project

Bayer and Sensyne Health have expanded their previous artificial intelligence collaboration into a larger, international LifeHub project based in the U.K.

Where the companies’ recent partnership, launched this July, focused on developing new cardiovascular disease treatments using AI, the new work will be aimed at AI-enabled radiology and imaging. Bayer’s LifeHub UK will play a role in a larger global network of innovation hubs run by the German pharma, the companies said.

“We firmly believe that artificial intelligence has transformative potential for healthcare, leading to enhancements in prediction, prevention and personalised treatments,” Kemal Malik, a board member for innovation at Bayer, said in a statement.

“LifeHub UK’s roadmap is a perfect fit to Bayer’s Open Innovation strategy, which is designed to leverage places, programmes and partnerships—such as strategic alliances and joint ventures—in the life sciences fields of pharmaceuticals and agriculture,” Malik added.

The new hub will be based in Reading’s Green Park, within the tech-focused Thames Valley area. It joins locations in Lyon, France, Berlin, Boston, California, Singapore and Tokyo and Osaka, each centered on its own area of expertise. 

The AI-powered imaging solutions the latest program hopes to develop will focus on both disease detection and drug discovery. Its first project includes the development of a clinical AI platform for automated image evaluation and computer-aided diagnosis.

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“Initiatives like this are essential to quickly maximise the opportunity AI presents to improve patient care and accelerate medical research,” said Sensyne’s CEO, Lord Paul Drayson.

The project plans to use 3 million anonymized patient records from the National Health Service (NHS) along with imaging data provided through Sensyne’s partnerships with NHS trusts.

NHS will retain control of the data, with Sensyne acting as a “docking station” between the healthcare provider and Bayer to maintain compliance with NHS principles, regulatory guidance and European data protection laws.

In late July, Bayer tapped Sensyne to mine NHS data for its cardiovascular development pipeline, including from Oxford University Hospitals. That agreement covered genomic sequencing data and real-world evidence to assist in both clinical trial design and drug discovery research.

Though any additional financial details involved with the LifeHub collaboration were not disclosed, Sensyne’s NHS partners were slated to receive 4% of all revenues from the cardiovascular disease project, while Sensyne itself is set to receive £5 million ($6.1 million) for its first two years.