Medtronic doubles down on endoscopy AI partnership, inking $200M deal with Cosmo Pharmaceuticals

Medtronic is doubling down on its artificial intelligence partnership with Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, developer of plug-in software for automatically spotting health issues during endoscopic exams. 

Cosmo previously obtained a landmark clearance from the FDA for its GI Genius system, which highlights polyps and potentially cancerous lesions in real time during a colonoscopy, including those the human eye might miss. Compatible with all agency-approved endoscopy video systems, GI Genius has been distributed exclusively by Medtronic since 2021.

Now, the medtech giant plans to expand its collaboration, with the goal of building a platform capable of hosting multiple AI-powered diagnostics gathered from third-party developers. 

In exchange for its efforts—and continued global commercial rights—Cosmo could collect as much as $200 million or more. That includes $100 million paid upfront and up to $100 million tied to potential milestones, which Medtronic said it expects to clear before the end of 2024, as well as double-digit royalties on net sales.

“This aligns with our business objectives to provide cutting-edge tools to our customers while also elevating patient care standards in the fight against gastrointestinal diseases,” Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha said in a statement. “We're setting a new course for the future, where AI-assisted healthcare is not just an option, but a fundamental aspect of patient treatment and outcomes.”

Earlier this year Medtronic roped in Nvidia to the project, to potentially improve GI Genius’ performance by integrating its Holoscan video-processing software and IGX edge-computing hardware. 

That tech will also support the renewed collaboration’s AI Access platform, which, in addition to hosting GI Genius as an eventual software marketplace and commercial channel, will also offer a test bed for the training and validation of new diagnostic algorithms.

By providing a virtual sandbox that simulates the use of the GI Genius system in the field, participating AI developers can take their machine learning programs out for a cloud-based spin—before eventually signing strategic business agreements with Medtronic for their distribution and deployment.

Medtronic’s chief technology officer, Ken Washington, described the AI Access platform as a “springboard for expanding Medtronic's AI's potential in healthcare.”

According to Medtronic, once an AI program satisfies necessary regulatory requirements, the software will be added to the GI Genius module as an optional add-on for new and existing customers. Pricing models will be determined in the future, as Medtronic will sell the third-party AI directly to healthcare providers.

Cosmo, meanwhile, will take the lead in managing the AI Access software development kits and will perform the technical review of third-party submissions.