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UCB to license its AI technology that improves identification of Osteoporosis to ImageBiopsy Lab

· ImageBiopsy Lab will further develop and launch an AI-based fracture identification tool based on UCB-developed BoneBot AI technology which detects the presence of “silent” or asymptomatic fractures in the spine through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). 
· Currently more than two-thirds of vertebral fractures are undiagnosed. Identifying them systematically has proven to be challenging for all clinicians.
· ImageBiopsy Lab will integrate UCB’s BoneBot technology with its existing ImageBiopsy Lab ZOO MSK platform for delivery to hospitals to help to increase the reporting of spinal fractures, enabling diagnosis and treatment earlier in the treatment journey, potentially reducing the co-morbidities associated with osteoporosis.
· UCB’s licensing of BoneBot AI technology to ImageBiopsy Lab to improve time to market demonstrates UCB’s ongoing commitment to a world free of fragility fractures.

Brussels (Belgium), 20 October, 07:00 CET UCB today – on World Osteoporosis Day 2021 – announced a strategic out-licensing of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based fracture identification technology, BoneBot, to ImageBiopsy Lab to bring the new identification tool to clinical practice by 2023. The radiology AI solution will screen CT scans to detect the presence of “silent” or asymptomatic fractures in the spine which can otherwise go unrecognized and unreported. 

“As digitalization of health increases, so does the potential of leveraging AI for improving care for many diseases, including osteoporosis. The number one risk factor for fragility fractures is a previous fracture. Identifying and appropriately treating patients who have already suffered a vertebral fracture is therefore key to ensuring that patients can continue to live their life to the fullest and avoid further fracture”, said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Executive Vice President Immunology Solutions & Head of US at UCB. “Together with expert clinicians, UCB has developed a deep-learning computational model that can detect vertebral compression fractures on CT scans. Partnering with a leading musculoskeletal (MSK) radiology AI company will ensure this technology can be integrated into clinical care.” 

“It is our ambition to support the more than 9 million patients worldwide who suffer a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis each year by helping to identify those patients at highest risk. Strategic partnerships and investment with those who have the technology and data capabilities can drive our transformation further in the most impactful ways. We’re delighted to be working with ImageBiopsy Lab to launch this important technology.”

Osteoporosis affects approximately 200 million people globally1, resulting in 9 million fragility fractures each year with the most common type being vertebral fractures.2,3

“The under-reporting in CT scans and consequent under-treating of vertebral fractures remains a real challenge in health systems across the world but this can be improved by a standard classification and a clearer path of care,” said Bo Abrahamsen, Endocrinologist and Professor of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology. “Although CT scans done for other purposes have the potential to identify vertebral fractures, scans containing vertebral fractures are often not assessed with this in mind, given the high time pressures on radiologists. There has to be a fast, simple, and intuitive way for vertebral fractures to be detected and brought to the attention of the services responsible for osteoporosis assessments. At the moment, these fractures are hiding in plain sight. We welcome digital innovation which can enable us to deliver clinical intervention earlier, ensuring patients receive the care they need.”

Founded in 2016, ImageBiopsy Lab has become a leading musculoskeletal AI-supported imaging diagnostic company. UCB will license the BoneBot Intellectual Property (IP) to ImageBiopsy Lab, helping to bring the technology to market by 2023. ImageBiopsy Lab will then aim to launch across the globe, including the US, EU and UK. 

“On World Osteoporosis Day, when we work together to raise global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, we’re excited to be announcing our involvement in such a significant milestone for osteoporosis care,” said Richard Ljuhar, CEO of ImageBiopsy Lab. “We are looking forward to accelerating the time to impact of the BoneBot technology which will enable effective clinical intervention earlier and, in turn, could potentially help reduce the co-morbidities associated with osteoporosis.”

About UCB
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8 000 people operating in more than 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €5.3 billion in 2020. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCB_news

About ImageBiopsy Lab 
ImageBiopsy Lab, the Vienna-based MSK AI-solution developer, was founded as a spin-off in late 2016. The company develops and offers award-winning AI-driven software applications that digitize musculoskeletal (MSK) diagnostics on radiographs, providing radiologists and orthopedics with fast, quantitative and standardized reports of disease relevant findings and measurements. 
Today, ImageBiopsy Lab has offices in the EU and the US and brings together an interdisciplinary, international team of physicians, clinical researchers and software experts, sharing the passion for having a lasting and meaningful impact on digital healthcare.

Forward looking statements – UCB
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial information, expected legal, political, regulatory or clinical results and other such estimates and results. By their nature, such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions which could cause actual results to differ materially from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals or to obtain them on acceptable terms, costs associated with research and development, changes in the prospects for products in the pipeline or under development by UCB, effects of future judicial decisions or governmental investigations, product liability claims, challenges to patent protection for products or product candidates, changes in laws or regulations, exchange rate fluctuations, changes or uncertainties in tax laws or the administration of such laws and hiring and retention of its employees. 
UCB is providing this information as of the date of this press release and expressly disclaims any duty to update any information contained in this press release, either to confirm the actual results or to report a change in its expectations. There is no guarantee that new product candidates in the pipeline will progress to product approval or that new indications for existing products will be developed and approved. Products or potential products which are the subject of partnerships, joint ventures or licensing collaborations may be subject to differences between the partners. Also, UCB or others could discover safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with its products after they are marketed. Moreover, sales may be impacted by international and domestic trends toward managed care and health care cost containment and the reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payers as well as legislation affecting biopharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement.

For further information: 

Media 
Adriaan Snauwaert 
Global Communications Manager, UCB 
T: +32 497 70 23 46. Adriaan.Snauwaert@ucb.com 

Investor Relations
Antje Witte, 
Investor Relations, UCB 
T+32 2 559 9414, antje.witte@ucb.com

REFERENCES

  1. Reginster JY, Burlet N. Osteoporosis: A still increasing prevalence. Bone. 2006;38(2 Suppl 1):S4–9
  2. Ström O, Borgström F, Kanis JA, et al. Osteoporosis: burden, health care provision and opportunities in the EU: a report prepared in collaboration with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA). Arch Osteoporos. 2011;6:59–155. doi: 10.1007/s11657-011-0060-1
  3. Warriner AH, Patkar NM, Curtis JR, et al. Which fractures are most attributable to osteoporosis?. J Clin Epidemiol. 2011;64(1):46-53. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.07.007


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