Philips, Definiens align on digital pathology

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Royal Philips Electronics and Definiens have signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop a digital pathology system to support clinical diagnosis of several types of cancer, beginning with breast cancer.

The companies will integrate Munich-based Definiens’ image analysis technologies into Philips’ imaging systems, providing pathologists with tools for assessment of immunohistochemically stained cancer tissue. By automating biomarker expression analysis and characterization of tissue morphology, the companies aim to help pathologists generate more standardized data from tissue samples.

In the initial project, the Amsterdam-based Philips and Definiens will focus on immunohistology-based breast cancer diagnostics, including biomarkers such as HER2/neu, Estrogen Receptor (ER), Progesterone Receptor (PR), Ki-67 and p53. Subsequently, Definiens plans to develop software to support analysis of Hematoxylin & Eosin (H &E) stained tissue.

While the initial project focuses on breast cancer diagnostics, Philips and Definiens also plan to develop similar approaches for other cancers, such as prostate and colon cancer.