Visiopharm Awarded Patent for Combined Platform of Image Analysis and Stereology

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New technique addresses a major bottleneck in whole slide stereology, further expanding the use of stereological sampling principles in pharmaceutical and toxicological practice.

While central to stereology, this technology offers exciting image analysis implications in two-dimensional analysis common in many pharmaceutical, biotech, and clinical workflows.”

Visiopharm A/S, a global leader in Histoinformatics™ for the lifescience industry, announced today that the European Patent Office has issued the European Patent No. EP 2 095 332 B1, entitled: Feature-based registration of sectional images.

The Visiopharm Histoinformatics™ platform allows researchers to obtain critical quantitative information about tissues and cells based on image analysis and modern design-based stereology, in a work-flow oriented environment providing additional tools for image manipulation, data management, and reporting. Such tools are of importance to biopharmaceutical research in assessment of efficacy and toxicity, for translational research, and basic research.

This technology will consolidate Visiopharm® as the leading provider of front-to-end solutions for both image analysis and stereology on the same platform for whole slide images. The patent strengthens the intellectual property rights that Visiopharm has within this combined platform by automation of the time-consuming process of perfect registration between two adjacent tissue sections. This result in a major improvement of the physical disector method used in stereology, but also in methods used in advanced image analysis.

Michael Grunkin, CEO of Visiopharm commented: “The technology that we are patenting here, is a fundamental requirement for obtaining statistically unbiased estimates of total number of cells, cell aggregates, alveoli, trabeculae, and other ‘objects’ in a tissue volume when working with whole slide images. While central to stereology, this technology offers exciting image analysis implications in two-dimensional analysis common in many pharmaceutical, biotech, and clinical workflows.”

Says Niels T. Foged, CSO of Visiopharm: “With high-quality slide scanners becoming standard in biopharmaceutical research, this new technology is removing critical issues that have impeded a more widespread adoption of stereology by the industry: Problems with shrinkage, staining penetration, and the ability to work with auto-stainers have certainly been critical – but with this technology we can remove many of the most labor intensive steps too. This is a perfect marriage between image analysis and stereology, and especially combined with the Proportionator™ patent that Visiopharm licensed on an exclusive basis from Aarhus Univeristy, the ability to push stereology into the realm of high throughput is suddenly within reach”.

Steven Potts, CEO of Flagship Biosciences, a digital pathology service provider: “We have seen some important changes recently, where both the biopharmaceutical industry and the regulatory authorities are taking a serious interest in design-based stereology in critical toxicologic studies. Although many of our clients in the biopharmaceutical industry are beginning to ask about this type of service, there are still very few Contract Research Organizations capable of offering quantitative data based on modern design-based stereology. With the Histoinformatics™ platform from Visiopharm, we see an opportunity to provide such end-points to the industry at a reasonable cost.”

About Visiopharm

Visiopharm is a leading provider of advanced software for quantitative microscopy for life sciences. Visiopharm software combines the strengths of image analysis and stereology in one platform and enables an integrated system for

  •     Advanced image analysis
  •     Stereology
  •     Unattended image acquisition
  •     Data management
  •     Virtual slide image management
  •     Work flow integration and automation
  •     Reporting

International pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, universities, hospitals and contract research organizations are successfully using Visiopharm software for deriving scientifically, trustworthy data with high information content and outstanding efficiency.


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Lene Gerlach, Ph.D.
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