Ground-breaking AI test could transform breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

Ground-breaking AI test could transform breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

Panakeia’s PANProfiler Breast assay – the world’s first AI software that can predict biomarker status from digitally imaged routine pathology samples – has received UKCA and CE certification for clinical use by health services in the UK and EU.

While other AI tools can determine the presence of cancer in a digital pathology image, PANProfiler is the only solution that can accurately predict biomarker status to guide clinical decision-making, sometimes in less than 15 minutes, removing the need for expensive and time-consuming lab testing.

Integrating seamlessly into the digital cancer diagnostic workflow, PANProfiler Breast analyses digital images of routinely-collected haemotoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained breast tumour samples to determine ER, PR and HER2 status, identifying whether the patient is a candidate for hormone therapy or Herceptin.

PANProfiler provides a diagnostic readout from the original H&E image in less than 15 minutes with accuracy comparable to lab testing, making the PANProfiler test much faster and cheaper than existing lab tests which take days or weeks, potentially saving healthcare systems millions every year.

Not only does this save precious time in the patient journey but also significantly reduces the burden on busy and costly laboratory services, which are facing a backlog due to the impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis.

PANProfiler is currently being trialled in hospitals in the UK, with plans in place to expand into Europe, North America and Asia.

Following the launch of PANProfiler Breast, Panakeia is expanding its offering to other cancers. The company is also exploring partnership opportunities with biopharma companies to use the PANProfiler technology to support drug discovery and development.

Professor David Harrison, Director of iCAIRD, one of five centres of excellence in the UK focused on AI applications in pathology and radiology funded by Innovate UK as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund said: “This profiler has the potential to help the NHS improve efficiency in pathology laboratories, support efforts to ease pathology workloads, and facilitate COVID-19 recovery. It enables rapid cancer diagnosis, improving both patient experience and outcomes.”

Professor Sarah Pinder, Chair of Breast Pathology at King’s College London and lead breast pathologist at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals, adds: “This exciting technology has the potential to save laboratory resources and also to improve turnaround time for biomarker results for patients with invasive breast cancer.”

Julia Hawkins, General Partner at LocalGlobe & Latitude, one of Panakeia’s major investors, says: “New digital technologies are transforming healthcare, improving outcomes for patients and reducing the burden on overstretched staff and systems. These technologies will play a vital role in healthcare providers’ recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling them to quickly deal with the backlog of patients, and diagnose and treat patients without delay. Panakeia’s groundbreaking technology promises to transform cancer diagnosis and treatment decisions.”