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Bayer driving progress in radiology through innovation in research and radiology AI

Friday, February 23, 2024, 09:00 Hrs  [IST]

Bayer moves ahead with advancements across its comprehensive radiology portfolio as well as expanded offering in its digital business and services. The company announced that new clinical and pre-clinical data for gadoquatrane, Bayer’s novel investigational macrocyclic gadolinium-based contrast agent currently in phase III clinical development, will be presented at the 2024 European Congress of Radiology (ECR) – taking place from February 28 to March 3, 2024, in Vienna, Austria. Bayer also announced new agreements with radiology AI technology providers Keya Medical Inc. and Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc. aimed at expanding the offerings on its medical imaging platform Calantic Digital Solutions, as well as the upcoming launch of its new Medical Imaging Core Lab Services at the congress.

The activities at ECR demonstrate Bayer’s commitment as a leading company in pivotal areas of radiology, aiming to tackle current industry challenges and expedite innovation for the benefit of healthcare providers and their patients, including leveraging the extensive potential of AI.

At Bayer’s booth (X5-517), once again, visitors can take an immersive tour through their evolving radiology clinic of the future, the Bayer Experience Center. At the AI Theatre (in X1) experts come together to discuss burning questions on the role of AI in radiology and its implementation in clinical practice – like data privacy and ethics, benchmarking and monitoring as well as the crucial role of education on AI. At a joint roundtable, experts from Bayer and the company’s partner Google Cloud will talk about myths and facts of cloud technology in radiology.

On the occasion of ECR 2024, Bayer also announced an extension of its medical imaging platform Calantic Digital Solutions (booth X1 AI-01): radiology AI technology providers Keya Medical and Circle Cardiovascular Imaging will build the new Cardiac Service Line on the platform. Clinical Service lines bundle individual AI algorithms aiding in the diagnostic procedures relevant for specific body regions.

For the first time, Bayer is also presenting its Medical Imaging Core Lab Services at ECR. Half of all ongoing clinical trials across the industry today, and 90% of oncology trials, use medical imaging as an essential means of evaluating the safety and efficacy of investigational medicines, and in supporting the overall conclusions of a study.

Over the past decade, the number of clinical trials utilizing medical imaging has increased by 500%. Next to medical imaging services to clinical trials, the integrated service provides end-to-end imaging core lab solutions, scientific consulting, cloud-based image acquisition, quality control, evaluation and management as well as real-time operational and quality metrics. Its network of over 40 core experts, and more than 100 additional internal and external associated physicians and radiologists, is currently involved in more than 50 clinical trials from Bayer and its platform companies as well as internal developments of Software as Medical Device (SaMD). With the official launch at ECR 2024, Bayer’s Imaging Core Lab Services will be made available to external customers.

Bayer, a global leader in radiology, started the phase III clinical development programme QUANTI in June 2023, aiming to evaluate the efficacy and safety of gadoquatrane, a next-generation, extracellular, macrocyclic, gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Gadoquatrane is a highly stable MRI contrast agent featuring high relaxivity that has the potential to enable a substantially lower gadolinium (Gd) dose for patients undergoing a contrast-enhanced MRI.

The QUANTI clinical development program encompasses two multinational phase III studies, QUANTI CNS (central nervous system) and QUANTI OBR (other body regions), as well as one paediatric study, all investigating gadoquatrane at a dose of 0.04 mmol Gd/kg body weight (BW). This represents a gadolinium dose reduced by 60 percent in contrast-enhanced MRI compared to standard dosing (0.1 mmol Gd/kg BW) of established macrocyclic GBCAs, which, if successfully tested, would constitute the lowest gadolinium dose for a multipurpose MRI contrast agent.

Contrast-enhanced MRI plays a key role in the healthcare continuum, providing a radiation-free, non-invasive method of obtaining detailed images of the body, helping to distinguish and identify potential abnormalities within organs and tissues and supporting physicians in answering critical medical questions in the detection, characterization, and monitoring of disease.

The overall global medical imaging AI field, with sales of more than USD 500 million in 2022, is expected to continue growing dynamically. With an estimated compounded annual growth rate of 25 percent, the market is forecast to reach USD 1.7 billion by 2027. Innovation powered by AI is needed more than ever. Aging populations and changing lifestyles are leading to an increase in chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Consequently, the demand for medical imaging to detect diseases, guide treatment decisions and support therapy planning is growing. AI comes with the value proposition of aiding diagnosis and increasing the throughput of radiological examinations.

This is particularly important because time pressure and workload are contributing to the prevalence of burn-out among radiologists. This situation is aggravated by the fact that there is a shortage of trained radiologists. In addition, publications show that the rate of diagnostic errors rise with long hours of overtime; a publication from 2018 mentions approximately 40 million diagnostic errors annually worldwide, involving imaging. Digital technologies can help manage the mounting workload of radiologists and their teams, with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.

Calantic Digital Solutions is a suite of digital radiology AI-enabled applications that assist radiologists and their teams at critical steps within a patient’s treatment journey. The vendor-neutral, cloud-hosted platform includes a growing number of applications designed to aid in prioritization, lesion detection and quantification, as well as apps that automate routine tasks and measurements, improve radiology suites’ workflow, and free up time for radiologists and their teams. The offering is orchestrated by body region and will include tools designed to help with thoracic, neurological, breast, prostate, cardiac and liver imaging.

As a true life-science company with a heritage of over 100 years in radiology, Bayer is committed to providing excellence – from innovative products to high-quality services – to support efficient and optimized patient care. Bayer offers a leading portfolio of contrast media for computed tomography (CT), X-ray, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), along with devices for their precise administration, informatics solutions, and a medical imaging platform delivering access to applications, including those enabled by AI. Bayer’s radiology products generated close to €2bn sales in 2022. Based on the company’s ambition to outperform the radiology market’s average annual growth rate of 5 percent, Bayer is highly committed to research and development, which includes leveraging AI and driving innovation in medical imaging. Each of these offerings provides effective tools to support radiologists in their mission to deliver treatment-critical answers and a clear direction – from diagnosis to care.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population.


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