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Optellum, a lung health start-up in Oxford, aims to redefine early interception of lung cancer using artificial intelligence (AI) decision support software.

Lung XRay with a red highlight around a tumour

Optellum, a lung-health AI company in Oxford has entered a strategic collaboration with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson. Through the collaboration, Optellum will apply its AI-powered clinical decision support platform with the goal of increasing lung cancer survival rates through early intervention and prevention.

Optellum was co-founded by Oxford cancer researcher Prof. Sir Michael Brady with the mission of seeing every lung disease patient diagnosed and treated at the earliest possible stage, and cured.

Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. Approximately 1.8 million people worldwide die from lung cancer each year. The current five-year survival rate is only 20%, primarily due to most patients being diagnosed after the disease has progressed to an advanced stage (Stage III or IV). However, the survival rate for small tumours treated at Stage IA is as high as 90%.

At the core of the collaboration is Optellum’s commercial software, Virtual Nodule Clinic, which received FDA clearance earlier this year, including an AI-powered digital biomarker based on neural networks and imaging analytics. It identifies and tracks at-risk patients and assigns a Lung Cancer Prediction score to lung nodules: small lesions, frequently detected in chest Computed Tomography (CT) scans that may or may not be cancerous. The Optellum AI will be used to drive accurate early diagnosis and optimal treatment decisions with the aim of treating patients earlier, potentially at a pre-cancerous stage, increasing survival rates.

In addition to its lung cancer product portfolio, the company is exploring solutions applying the same technology platform to other deadly diseases of the lungs such as interstitial lung disease and COPD.

Optellum is headquartered at the Oxford Centre for Innovation in Oxford, UK and at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, USA. For more information, please visit optellum.com. See the full announcement here.

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