Research & Development

Owkin and Merck collaborate on cancer diagnostics powered by AI

Owkin and Merck, known as MSD outside of the US and Canada, have announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement for the development and commercialisation of AI-powered digital pathology diagnostics for the European Union (EU) market.
The collaboration has a focus on developing a pre-screening procedure to improve testing rates for MSI-H in various cancers, including: endometrial, gastric, small intestinal and biliary. The collaboration will initially be focused in the EU.
Meriem Sefta, chief diagnostics officer at Owkin, commented: “This strategic alliance with MSD is focused on improving the way patients are diagnosed and receive treatment, advancing our shared mission of supporting healthcare providers in their adoption of innovative digital diagnostics. It is clear that there is a need for AI diagnostics that can both ease bottlenecks and resource pressures while also ramping up biomarker testing to match patients with optimal treatments.”
Scott K Pruitt, associate vice president and head of Translational Oncology at MSD Research Laboratories, added: “The application of AI technologies holds tremendous potential in the screening of patients and the diagnosis of disease. We look forward to working with the Owkin team toward harnessing this opportunity to identify more patients with MSI-H cancers who may benefit from ICI therapy.”
Owkin intends to further expand the development of these AI diagnostics into four new cancer types.