Lucida Medical, University of Cambridge and Hampshire Hospitals join forces to develop Pi to transform the experience of patients living with prostate cancer
£1 million programme funded by Innovate UK’s Advancing Precision Medicine programme, including funding from the Office of Life Sciences and Lucida Medical.
Pi™ automatically analyses MRI scans to identify suspicious lesions, helping speed up review and avoid missing cancer.
Dr Aarti Shah, Consultant Radiologist, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Antony Rix, CEO, Lucida Medical
Cancer detection company Lucida Medical and leading doctors in Cambridge and Hampshire launch a £1million project to develop precision medicine technology to identify and manage the most common cancer in men
CAMBRIDGE, UK (30 January 2024) – Lucida Medical, the University of Cambridge and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded funding by Innovate UK and the Office for Life Sciences to extend the ground-breaking Pi™ software platform to multiple clinical indications. Already certified to support cancer diagnosis, this £1million programme will enable Pi™ to be used throughout a patient’s journey with prostate cancer, enabling more accurate and less invasive testing by using artificial intelligence (AI) to combine insights from MRI and clinical tests.
Over 50,000 men each year are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK each year, and 490,000 live with or have been treated for the disease. 1.4 million men are diagnosed annually worldwide. While prostate cancer may initially develop slowly, it can be deadly if found too late, killing more than 12,000 in the UK and 375,000 worldwide each year.
This project will extend the Pi™ platform to further support active surveillance of patients living with prostate cancer.
Dr Tristan Barrett, Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Cambridge, said:
“in our clinical work, we offer active surveillance to patients with lower risk prostate cancer, with regular imaging and blood tests to track the cancer. The aim is to delay surgery or other therapies that can have serious side-effects. We have shown this to be a safe approach, which enables most men to retain their quality of live for many years.”
Dr Aarti Shah, Consultant Radiologist at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added:
“monitoring patients on active surveillance involves regular MRI scans, blood tests and occasionally biopsies. The analysis of multiple MRI scans is a time-consuming task for expert radiologists, of whom there are too few in the UK. We are excited to be able to develop cutting edge tools to offer patients and clinical teams a smarter approach to active surveillance through this project.”
Research by Lucida Medical and by the University of Cambridge has demonstrated how to predict whether prostate cancer is significant, and track its evolution, more accurately by using AI methods. In this programme, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will lead the development of a new dataset of patients on active surveillance. Lucida Medical will use this to train new AI algorithms and develop additional workflows to extend the Pi™ platform. The University of Cambridge will then evaluate the Pi™ platform with data from prostate cancer patients dating back over the last 10 years.
The programme costs are covered by Lucida Medical with support from Innovate UK’s Advancing Precision Medicine programme, including funding from the Office of Life Sciences.
“With this collaboration, Pi™ will enable us to test and monitor cancer patients using precision medicine across the whole prostate cancer pathway. This will reduce the impact of the disease for both patients and hospitals, and help ensure patients receive treatment exactly when they need it,” commented Dr Antony Rix, CEO and co-founder of Lucida Medical.
Lucida Medical will demonstrate Pi™ at the 2024 European Congress of Radiology, where Dr Rix will present the results of the latest research on the Pi™ platform in session RPS 605 on 28 February from 16:30.
Pi™ is available for use in the UK and EU to support the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Lucida Medical develops AI-based technology to assist clinicians to find cancer more accurately, diagnose and treat it more effectively, and save time. Lucida Medical was founded in 2019 by Dr. Antony Rix, an expert in medical devices, machine learning and AI, and Prof. Evis Sala, who at the time was Professor of Oncological Imaging at the University of Cambridge & Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and who is now Chair of Radiology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Director of the Advanced Radiology Centre at the Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, IRCCS in Rome. Prostate Intelligence™ (Pi™) is intended for use to assist the diagnosis of prostate cancer, and is the company’s first product to complete regulatory approvals.
Lucida Medical is backed by investors including XTX Ventures, Prostate Cancer Research, and leading radiologists and urologists. Following a successful collaboration with GE HealthCare in 2021, the company is now piloting the software in the UK, Germany and Italy, and building partnerships with hospitals and leading vendors to make Pi™ available across Europe.
The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading universities, with a rich history of radical thinking dating back to 1209. Its mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.
Cambridge was second in the influential 2024 QS World University Rankings, the highest rated institution in the UK.
The University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges and over 100 departments, faculties and institutions. Its 24,000 students include around 9,000 international students from 147 countries. In 2023, 73% of its new undergraduate students were from state schools and more than 25% from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Cambridge research spans almost every discipline, from science, technology, engineering and medicine through to the arts, humanities and social sciences, with multi-disciplinary teams working to address major global challenges. In the Times Higher Education’s rankings based on the UK Research Excellence Framework, the University was rated as the highest scoring institution covering all the major disciplines.
A 2023 report found that the University contributes nearly £30 billion to the UK economy annually and supports more than 86,000 jobs across the UK, including 52,000 in the East of England. For every £1 the University spends, it creates £11.70 of economic impact, and for every £1 million of publicly-funded research income it receives, it generates £12.65 million in economic impact across the UK.
The University sits at the heart of the ‘Cambridge cluster’, in which more than 5,000 knowledge-intensive firms employ more than 71,000 people and generate £21 billion in turnover. Cambridge has the highest number of patent applications per 100,000 residents in the UK.
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The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) is a joint unit between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. OLS exists to improve the health and wealth of the nation by growing a resilient and innovative life sciences sector in the UK, and by bringing new technologies and treatments into the NHS to transform healthcare.
OLS funding for the Advancing Precision Medicine programme is provided as part of the Government’s Life Science Cancer Mission. The Cancer Mission aims to make the UK a leading testbed for oncology innovation by accelerating the development and commercialisation of a new generation of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, allowing patients to be diagnosed earlier and offered therapies specifically designed to target their cancer.
Further information on this funding award: