Technology | Artificial Intelligence | July 18, 2019

Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System

Qlarity Imaging’s QuantX software is used to assist radiologists in assessment and characterization of breast lesions

Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System

Qlarity Imaging’s software is used to assist radiologists in the assessment and characterization of breast lesions. Imaging features are synthesized by an artificial intelligence algorithm into a single value, the QI score, which is analyzed relative to a database of reference abnormalities with known ground truth. Image courtesy of Business Wire.

July 18, 2019 — Paragon Biosciences LLC announced the launch of its seventh portfolio company, Qlarity Imaging LLC, which was founded to harness the value of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve medical outcomes. Qlarity Imaging will further develop QuantX, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared computer-aided breast cancer diagnosis system. 

Qlarity plans to expand the diagnostic applications of its AI technology to additional imaging modalities and medical conditions, with the goal of improving patient care while lowering costs for hospitals and payers. 

Qlarity Imaging acquired QuantX, the medical imaging AI system with intuitive displays, advanced analytics and machine learning, initially developed at the University of Chicago based on research led by Maryellen L. Giger, Ph.D., and incubated at Quantitative Insights, a startup that had been launched with the support of the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. A clinical study demonstrated the effectiveness of QuantX at helping radiologists interpret cancerous and non-cancerous breast lesions — the results showed a 39 percent reduction in missed breast cancers without a reduction in specificity, as well as a 20 percent overall diagnostic improvement. The study led to the FDA clearance of the AI technology for breast cancer.

Paragon’s capabilities and investment in Qlarity Imaging provide Qlarity with the working capital needed to further develop and implement its computer-aided diagnosis system and explore expanded uses of AI-enabled diagnostic tools. Paragon Biosciences advises its portfolio companies on how to leverage AI technology to enhance the diagnostic insight of medical devices, accelerate the pace of drug development, and increase the efficacy of novel therapies.

Qlarity’s AI-enabled image processing and diagnostic algorithms are based on decades of research by Giger, a pioneer in the field of computer-aided diagnosis. Now an advisor to Qlarity Imaging, Giger has conducted more than 30 years of research in computer-aided diagnosis, including computer vision and machine learning for breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, lupus and bone diseases.

“When we looked at how to best commercialize and scale QuantX, the computer-aided diagnostic system originally developed at the University of Chicago, Paragon Biosciences was the perfect partner,” Giger said. “Paragon is already delivering on its promise, helping Qlarity Imaging to expand its management team, pursue new product opportunities, extend its customer base and seek additional venture financing.”

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