Merck & Co. has partnered with artificial intelligence developer Owkin to develop digital diagnostics for cancer testing. Building upon Owkin’s machine learning-powered test for microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer, the collaboration aims to create similar tests for endometrial, gastric, small intestine, and bile duct cancers. Owkin’s MSIntuit CRC program, with CE Mark approval in Europe, pre-selects pathology slides for further testing based on genomic biomarkers. Assessing microsatellite instability is crucial in guiding colorectal cancer treatment, as it influences the effectiveness of chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapies like Merck’s Keytruda. While testing for high microsatellite instability is recommended, it is not routinely performed in the four cancers targeted by the collaboration. Owkin aims to address the need for AI diagnostics to streamline processes and enhance biomarker testing. The planned digital tests are initially intended for Europe, where Merck trades as MSD.

Article written by Conor Hale| Image by Owkin



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