Adelaide-based medical technology company LBT Innovations (ASX: LBT) is lining up distributors in the lucrative US healthcare market for their pathology screening tech which is driven by artificial intelligence to maximise testing throughput in labs, providing healthcare professionals with accurate results faster.
The Automated Plate Assessment System (APAS®) is a pathology AI device which automates culture plate screening and result interpretation. The device provides intelligent image interpretation and offers the potential for broader applications across a suite of pathological tests.
Automation of pathology systems allows labs to achieve higher throughput rates and meet the increasing demands of the healthcare industry in an efficient, accurate manner. The APAS® Independence improves time management in laboratories, provides consistency and accuracy in results and reduces manual handling of samples. All of these lead to a safer, more cost effective lab providing objective results quickly.
In conjunction with Clever Culture Systems (CCS) LBT has developed a two tiered commercialisation strategy to gain regulatory approval and begin broad distribution of their product. The Company is aiming to build market awareness via the appointment of influential opinion leaders within the industry. The US presents the largest potential addressable market with over 1,500 potential lab customers. Contract negotiations are underway with a US distributor expected to be appointed by the third quarter of 2021.
The Company has also placed the APAS® Independence in labs within key global markets to assess how well the system meets demand. So far evaluations have been carried out by SA Pathology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and UK based Health Pathology Services in London, and scheduled for both France and the US. Initial evaluation from these labs have met clinical objectives and reported on the system’s ease of use.
Data extracted from these evaluations is being collated for presentation at the upcoming European Congress for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases conference in July 2021.
The clinical microbiology market is worth $5.3 billion and growing at a rate of 6.5% per annum. The huge demand placed on clinical resources due to COVID-19 and the rising incidence of infectious diseases presents a unique opportunity for the integration of AI technology in the lab.
The APAS® Independence is the world’s first and only automated microbiology culture plate reader and presents diagnostic companies with the opportunity to streamline lab processes. Having already gained regulatory approval from the FDA, TGA and CE Mark and securing channel partners in the EU, the Company is well positioned to see widespread adoption of their technology in the future.
For the Half-Year ended 31 December, 2020, LBT Innovations $1.28 million revenue represented a 68% increase on the previous corresponding period. Although the period also resulted in a $3.1m net loss, its marketing activities are focused on driving sales now that their medtech has reached commercialisation.