UK-based Motilent, the first company to specialise in the assessment of digestive diseases using AI medical image analysis, has raised £1.2 million in NIHR funding ahead of World IBD Day on May 19. Notably, National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.
Deploys GIQuant to NHS hospitals
Building on its initial £685k investment, NIHR awarded an additional £562k to Motilent to support the rollout of GIQuant to NHS trusts across the UK.
The investment is the latest NIHR research grant awarded to Motilent. Previous awards have focused on accelerating the development of GIQuant, by evaluating Crohn’s Disease activity with MRI and predicting treatment response in Crohn’s patients.
The fresh investment will be used to develop and roll out its gut-imaging technology to over 10 NHS hospitals, including UCLH, Nottingham University Hospital and Frimley Park Hospital. The initial focus is on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Crohn’s Disease.
The NIHR funding will support a retrospective study on historic MRI scans, focused on training, and a prospective component across more than 3400 patients in collaboration with clinicians and over 10 UK hospitals, collecting real-world evidence to drive changes in the clinical management of Crohn’s Disease.
Motilent CEO Alex Menys commented: “One of the first questions we are asked is ‘who else is using GIQuant?’ and through this grant, we have an opportunity to really drive the tech into a lot of different types of hospitals and give the clinical community the time (and resource) to see how GIQuant can fit their workflows. This of course builds on regulatory clearance and a large number of published papers, but there is no substitution for hands-on use.”
Raffaella Roncone, Head of Innovation and Enterprises for NIHR’s i4i programme, said: “Motilent’s innovative work to find better ways to see inside the gut and monitor how the treatment is working really has the potential to improve patient’s lives, and make the healthcare system more effective. We’re really excited to see how this technology develops and proud to be supporting this research.”
Gordon Moran, Clinical Associate Professor at The University of Nottingham, commented: “This is an excellent work from Motilent. With the new treat-to-target approach to inflammatory bowel disease, it is imperative to have the right target which is accurate and affordable. This will allow us to treat patients better so that they can achieve a better quality of life. GIQuant definitely ticks all the boxes needed.”
Stuart Taylor, Professor of Medical Imaging at UCL, commented: “There is a real clinical need to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of gastrointestinal diseases. GIQuant holds considerable promise as a noninvasive tool to measure the inflammatory burden in Crohn’s disease and help clinicians better manage patients. This study will allow us to deploy GIQuant within real-world clinical practice and evaluate its impact.”
CE-marked software GIQuant!
Founded by Alex Menys in 2013 in London, Motilent’s FDA cleared and CE-marked post-processing software, GIQuant is used by several UK health services. It complements standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure and track the movement of the intestine. This measure of motility is often affected by GI disease inflammation. The more inflamed the bowel, the less it moves and provides insights into disease progression and treatment response.
With an initial focus on Crohn’s disease, GIQuant lets physicians in advanced image assessment, providing data-led insights to monitor therapeutic response and allow for more informed clinical treatment decisions. This extra layer of objective data, collected non-invasively, can help physicians identify ineffective therapies faster, and speed up patient treatment journeys.