• Former Collaborative Agreement lays Pathway for Acquisition
    Blackford Senior Management Team : From left Conrad Chin, Ben Panter, Scott Rutherford

News & Views

Former Collaborative Agreement lays Pathway for Acquisition

Mar 21 2023

Blackford Analysis Ltd, an imaging AI platform and solutions provider with a presence in the UK and US, has become a wholly owned subsidiary of pharma giant Bayer AG, following acquisition completion. Providing infrastructure and access to a rich clinical application ecosystem, the new subsidiary will continue to operate on an arm’s length basis, preserving its core entrepreneurial culture for nurturing successful innovation. Thus Blackford remains accountable to advance its technology, channel partnerships and ClinApp portfolio while benefiting from the experience, infrastructure and reach of the global parent company.

Gerd Krüger, President Radiology, Bayer said that the acquisition marked an important step in implementing strategy to drive innovation in radiology: “Bayer is a leader in key radiology areas with a comprehensive portfolio and a deep medical understanding across a multitude of diseases. We are excited that we are now able to join forces with the exceptional Blackford team to use our combined expertise for the benefit of patients and their treating physicians.”

“Blackford has built a strong reputation in the AI platform segment for radiology, with a wide portfolio of 3rd party products and a strong deployed base of hospitals, radiology groups and imaging centres,” said Ben Panter, Chief Executive Officer of Blackford. “Combining our knowledge and experience with Bayer will enable us to provide solutions to deliver ongoing clinical value to radiologists and their referrers.”

The overall global medical imaging AI field had sales worth more than USD 400 million in 2021, which was expected to continue growing dynamically, with an estimated compounded annual growth rate of more than 26 percent (2020 to 2026) reaching USD 1.36 billion by 2026. With demand for medical imaging growing, AI comes with the value proposition to aid diagnosis and increase the throughput of radiological examinations.

The acquisition of Blackford bolsters Bayer’s position in digital medical imaging and follows a development and license agreement between both companies in 2020 that laid the foundation for Bayer’s recently launched medical imaging platform, Calantic™ Digital Solutions. The collaboration with Bayer has its roots in 2019, when Blackford was among the selected start-ups of Bayer’s G4A Digital Health Partnerships Program that year.

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