Roche and PathAI have announced a strategic partnership to jointly develop and distribute digital pathology diagnostics.

Under the deal, the companies will work to develop an embedded image analysis workflow intended for pathologists.

Through this workflow, PathAI image analysis algorithms will be accessible within NAVIFY Digital Pathology, the Cloud version of the Roche enterprise software uPath.

Building on Roche’s Digital Pathology Open Environment, the collaboration will help pathologists gain access to third-party artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology as well as the AI-based image analysis tools of Roche.

Besides being one of the first deals for PathAI involving the distribution of its AI-powered solutions through a third-party platform, it is also among the first to bolster digital tools through the Roche open environment.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “Working together, Roche and PathAI will bring the latest leading technologies to pathologists through our digital pathology solution.

“Expanded access to a menu of high medical value digital diagnostic tools will further ensure that patients are accurately diagnosed and receive the most effective treatment available.”

Initially, Roche will distribute the algorithms developed by PathAI for research use only, through Navify Digital Pathology.

The firms will also focus on immuno-oncology in several types of cancer.

Additionally, they intend to support biopharmaceutical firms with end-to-end solutions for the development of CDx.

For this purpose, Roche’s diagnostic assays, pathology lab solutions and AI tools will be leveraged along with imaging tools drawn from PathAI.

PathAI CEO Andy Beck said: “This collaboration brings together all of the components required to deliver and commercialise a differentiated AI-based digital pathology medical device, including assay, scanner, image management system and algorithm.

“We believe this partnership will unlock the potential for digital pathology in the companion diagnostics setting, offering a differentiated service to biopharma sponsors and ultimately new opportunities to improve patient outcomes.”