Covance and Definiens team up on AI-powered companion diagnostic imaging tests

In Silico
The two companies aim to use machine learning algorithms to profile tumor microenvironments and develop phenotypic profiles for each patient. (Pixabay/Geralt)

LabCorp has tapped artificial intelligence-based image analysis company Definiens for a precision drug development collaboration in oncology and immunotherapies.

Definiens and LabCorp’s Covance subsidiary hope to integrate digital image pathology with clinical trial design and tissue-based testing, for a faster and more rigorous approach to validating biomarkers and co-developing companion diagnostics. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The two companies aim to use machine learning algorithms to profile tumor microenvironments and develop unique phenotypic profiles for each patient, with the ultimate goal of establishing image-analysis diagnostics as a standard companion to targeted therapies.


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The project will start with multiplex immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization applications in early-stage clinical programs, with the goal of quickly moving therapies up to pivotal, larger-scale clinical trials.

RELATED: AstraZeneca builds cancer R&D dream house with $150M Definiens buyout, J&J deal

Definiens was acquired by AstraZeneca’s MedImmune division in 2014 for a $150 million down payment plus milestones. The German company’s Tissue Phenomics diagnostics platform, the brainchild of company founder and Nobel laureate Gerd Binnig, supports tests that track and predict patient responses to cancer treatments.

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