FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, Inc., a world leader in the innovation, development, and manufacture of cell culture media and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), today announced it has exclusively licensed the intellectual property relating to artificial intelligence (AI) for image-based evaluation of human embryos to improve in-vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates.
The technology was developed and patented jointly by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital with expertise in artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering and IVF. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific plans to offer non-exclusive licensing of the technology to companies wishing to advance the use of AI and image-based tools in reproductive healthcare and will immediately be seeking agreements, globally. This image-based technology has the fundamentally enabling advantage of no capital investment while seamlessly merging into existing IVF workflows. The technology requires no special or specific imaging equipment and provides laboratories with the potential for an easier and lower-cost entry point for implementing AI and image analysis into their workflows. FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, as the exclusive licensee, has a mission to bring this technology to every clinic around the world.
“Already a leading company of AI and medical imaging, Fujifilm will look for synergies across its healthcare companies to develop innovative applications that leverage this technology,” said Yutaka Yamaguchi, chief executive officer and chairman of FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, general manager of Fujifilm Life Science Business Division. “Together we will continue to discover new ways to use imaging and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare.”
“AI will be a critical tool for the transformation of clinical procedures to be more objective and reliable,” said Hadi Shafiee, Ph.D., of the Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The utility, versatility, and robustness of our AI system in the IVF clinic has been repeatedly demonstrated in numerous international scientific publications, with our most recent work in Nature Biomedical Engineering highlighting its domain adaptability and reliability.”
“Considering how important an IVF cycle is to the patient, each step in the process is critical. Embryologists make dozens of decisions that impact the success of that cycle. With assistance from our AI system, embryologists will have a valuable tool to use in their effort to identify and select embryos with the highest chance of resulting in pregnancy.” said co-inventor Charles Bormann, Ph.D., IVF laboratory director, Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Tools to assist with embryo selection are only the beginning. Development and testing of applications to support the selection of oocytes, sperm, and genetic assessment are in progress,” said Steve Geimer, executive director of the Medical Business Unit, FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific. “Offering non-exclusive licensing to other companies will enable image-based AI to become an industry-standard in IVF and reproductive healthcare.”
Co-inventors of the technology developed by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, include Manoj Kumar Kanakasabapathy, MS, Research Scientist, and Prudhvi Thirumalaraju, MS, both of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Engineering in Medicine.