Swiss healthcare company Roche has partnered with Bristol Myers Squibb to support the development of two assays for use in clinical trials with the help of two new digital pathology algorithms.

Under the partnership, the first project will include the creation of an AI-based image analysis system by Roche Digital Pathology to help pathologists interpret the VENTANA PD-L1 assay, which is currently on the market.

The algorithm will be used by Bristol Myers Squibb to produce biomarker data from clinical trial samples.

Roche Diagnostics Pathology customer area head Jill German said: “The Bristol Myers Squibb and PathAI collaborations are among the first examples where AI technology and digital pathology applications are playing a role in developing treatments for patients.

“By using our NAVIFY Digital platform to interpret tissue based assays and AI algorithms, pathologists are better able to identify targeted therapy options, ultimately improving patient care.”

Roche will leverage its recently announced Open Environment collaboration with PathAI for the second project to incorporate a PathAI-developed algorithm for CD8 biomarker analysis into the NAVIFY Digital Pathology workflow software.

Bristol Myers Squibb will use the AI-powered algorithm to analyse clinical trial samples that have been stained with Roche’s CD8 assay and produce quantitative spatial biomarker data.

Data obtained from both the projects will be used to help in cancer treatment along with the advancement of personalised healthcare treatment options.

Bristol Myers Squibb translational sciences and diagnostics vice president Sarah Hersey said: “We believe digital methods will bring significant improvements in standardisation and interpretation of tissue-based assays and will enable broader access to tissue based assays.

“The ability to more deeply interrogate images will present opportunities to better understand disease biology, potentially leading to expanded and improved drug development options and ultimately highly effective patient selection strategies.

“We are pleased to be part of this collaboration that is using leading edge technology to enable improved patient outcomes.”