German biotechnology company Bayer has acquired imaging AI platform and solutions provider Blackford Analysis for an undisclosed sum.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, Blackford Analysis has created software to make it easier for healthcare practitioners to handle several imaging apps and AI algorithms through a single system.

The acquisition forms part of Bayer’s plan to promote innovation in radiology, including the creation and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into clinical workflow.

Bayer said that the deal will also enhance patient care and strengthen its position in the field of digital medical imaging.

Blackford, a company with operations in both the UK and the US, offers infrastructure and access to a thriving clinical application (ClinApp) ecosystem that is centred on imaging and analytics.

The latest deal follows the development and licence agreement between the two businesses in 2020. It served as the basis for Bayer’s recently launched Calantic Digital Solutions medical imaging platform.

Calantic Digital Solutions provides access to applications, especially those made possible by AI, for medical imaging by building on Blackford technology and adding further workflow and analytics components.

Blackford Analysis Chief Executive Officer Ben Panter said: “Blackford exists to improve the lives of patients and populations by unlocking the adoption and benefits of medical imaging AI.

“We investigated many routes to scale our business to deliver our mission and were delighted by Bayer’s invitation to deepen our partnership, whilst continuing to operate independently based on Bayer’s well-established arm’s length model.

“Combining our knowledge and experience as one of the leading platform providers in the industry with Bayer’s advanced radiology portfolio will enable us to provide solutions to deliver ongoing clinical value to radiologists and their teams.”

Blackford will continue to run as an independent organisation with an arm’s length relationship to maintain its entrepreneurial culture, the German biotechnology company said.

The business will continue developing its technology, channel alliances, and ClinApp portfolio using Bayer’s expertise, infrastructure, and global pharmaceutical company reach.

The acquisition is anticipated to close later this year, subject to all standard closing requirements.