Blackford is a global strategic imaging AI platform and solutions provider based in Edinburgh, Scotland with operations in the U.S. as well. The two companies had previously collaborated in 2020 on Bayer’s Calantic medical imaging AI platform for radiology.
As part of the deal, Blackford will continue to operate independently under Bayer ownership. Going forward, Blackford will be responsible for advancing its innovative technology, the ClinApp portfolio and its channel partnerships.
Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
Radiology has been a focal point of Bayer’s pharmaceutical segment for years. According to its most recent earnings statement, Bayer said that its radiology division registered “higher volumes in all regions,” boosted by double-digit sales growth from drugs like Gadovist and Ultravist.
This acquisition is also the latest example of dealmaking by Bayer, which purchased German biotech Targenomix in November.
“Adding Blackford and its AI technology to our radiology portfolio secures Bayer an excellent position in the fastest growing segment within the overall global radiology industry,” said Stefan Oelrich, member of the board of management for Bayer AG and president of Bayer’s pharmaceutical division, in a statement. “This acquisition complements our comprehensive radiology portfolio and nourishes our engagement to drive innovation in digital health.”
Blackford CEO Ben Panter said the transaction allows the company to scale its operations and deepen its existing partnership with Bayer. He also praised the global healthcare giant for bringing Blackford into the fold to improve care outcomes for patients and radiologists.
“Bayer’s offer allows us freedom to continue to deliver our mission to improve the lives of patients and populations by unlocking the adoption and benefits of medical imaging AI as an independent, arms-length company along with all the strength and support of an experienced life science partner,” Panter said in a statement on the company’s website. “I’m extremely proud of everything our team has achieved and look forward to continuing to expand our partnerships across the industry.”