UCB to license its AI technology that improves identification of Osteoporosis to ImageBiopsy Lab

UCB announced a strategic out-licensing of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based fracture identification technology, BoneBot, to ImageBiopsy Lab to bring the new identification tool to clinical practice by 2023. The radiology AI solution will screen CT scans to detect the presence of “silent” or asymptomatic fractures in the spine which can otherwise go unrecognized and unreported.
“As digitalization of health increases, so does the potential of leveraging AI for improving care for many diseases, including osteoporosis. The number one risk factor for fragility fractures is a previous fracture. Identifying and appropriately treating patients who have already suffered a vertebral fracture is therefore key to ensuring that patients can continue to live their life to the fullest and avoid further fracture”, said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Executive Vice President Immunology Solutions & Head of US at UCB. “Together with expert clinicians, UCB has developed a deep-learning computational model that can detect vertebral compression fractures on CT scans. Partnering with a leading musculoskeletal (MSK) radiology AI company will ensure this technology can be integrated into clinical care.”
“It is our ambition to support the more than 9 million patients worldwide who suffer a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis each year by helping to identify those patients at highest risk. Strategic partnerships and investment with those who have the technology and data capabilities can drive our transformation further in the most impactful ways. We’re delighted to be working with ImageBiopsy Lab to launch this important technology.”
Osteoporosis affects approximately 200 million people globally1, resulting in 9 million fragility fractures each year with the most common type being vertebral fractures.2,3
“The under-reporting in CT scans and consequent under-treating of vertebral fractures remains a real challenge in health systems across the world but this can be improved by a standard classification and a clearer path of care,” said Bo Abrahamsen, Endocrinologist and Professor of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology. “Although CT scans done for other purposes have the potential to identify vertebral fractures, scans containing vertebral fractures are often not assessed with this in mind, given the high time pressures on radiologists. There has to be a fast, simple, and intuitive way for vertebral fractures to be detected and brought to the attention of the services responsible for osteoporosis assessments. At the moment, these fractures are hiding in plain sight. We welcome digital innovation which can enable us to deliver clinical intervention earlier, ensuring patients receive the care they need.”
Founded in 2016, ImageBiopsy Lab has become a leading musculoskeletal AI-supported imaging diagnostic company. UCB will license the BoneBot Intellectual Property (IP) to ImageBiopsy Lab, helping to bring the technology to market by 2023. ImageBiopsy Lab will then aim to launch across the globe, including the US, EU and UK.
“On World Osteoporosis Day, when we work together to raise global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, we’re excited to be announcing our involvement in such a significant milestone for osteoporosis care,” said Richard Ljuhar, CEO of ImageBiopsy Lab. “We are looking forward to accelerating the time to impact of the BoneBot technology which will enable effective clinical intervention earlier and, in turn, could potentially help reduce the co-morbidities associated with osteoporosis.”
UCB, Brussels, Belgium is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8 000 people operating in more than 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €5.3 billion in 2020.
ImageBiopsy Lab, the Vienna-based MSK AI-solution developer, was founded as a spin-off in late 2016. The company develops and offers award-winning AI-driven software applications that digitize musculoskeletal (MSK) diagnostics on radiographs, providing radiologists and orthopedics with fast, quantitative and standardized reports of disease relevant findings and measurements.
Today, ImageBiopsy Lab has offices in the EU and the US and brings together an interdisciplinary, international team of physicians, clinical researchers and software experts, sharing the passion for having a lasting and meaningful impact on digital healthcare.

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