The AIM-listed investor, which focuses on the tech sector, touched a five-year high last week after a triple dose of good news.
Firstly, its Imaging Biometrics (IB) unit received US regulatory clearance for a virtual biopsy that can help assess chronic liver disease. This means the product can be now sold in the States.
IB, a developer of advanced imaging software, has the global rights to manufacture, market, and distribute the technology, which presents a new way to analyse CT scans for conditions including liver inflammation, early fibrosis, advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Over 2bn people worldwide have some form of chronic liver disease that currently requires painful liver biopsies that can cost anywhere up to US$3,000 a time and are prone to errors that may result in misdiagnosis.
European regulatory sign-off in the form of a CE Mark is expected later this quarter.
Good news dose #2
Providing a further boot was news company added to its roster of customers after the Montgomery Cancer Center in Alabama bought the IB Clinic product.
The software suite includes the IB Delta T1 mapping algorithms, to help neuroradiologists identify subtle regions of contrast enhancement on routine MR images.
IB Delta T1 also assists in eliminating confounding factors such as post-surgical blood products.
The IB Neuro algorithms blood volume maps, meanwhile, are used to help assess whether a treatment is having an effect on the tumour.
Good news dose #3
The good run has continued through to Monday, when IQ-AI revealed IB has teamed up with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to work on a brain lesion tracking platform.
The new technology, to be called IB Trax, will be used to assess the development of metastatic and primary brain tumours using artificial intelligence.
IB’s quantitative expertise will form the foundation of IB Trax with clinical input provided by the Mayo Clinic.
The US medical group will receive what is described as a ‘token’ US$50,000 of shares in IQ-AI, and will be handed US$10,000 more in stock each year the agreement exists. It was also given a 4% royalty on each sale of IB Trax, including US$20,000 on the initial commercial installation.
The deal builds on an already strong relationship with the Mayo that has seen appointment to IB’s scientific advisory board of Dr Leland Hu, assistant professor of radiology at the clinic’s Arizona campus.
IB Stroke – software that helps clinicians better understand how to treat stroke patients – is ready to be launched in both the US and Europe.
In the former market alone more than 800,000 people experience a stroke each year with costs of this leading cause of disability put at US$46bn currently, rising to US$84bn in 2035.
But it’s not all: just last month, the Jersey-headquartered firm advanced its contrast-free imaging project to the stage of validation testing.
The testing results will refine the model sufficiently to prepare it for the final stage, which is regulatory clearance.
One in three MRI scans use contrast to improve the diagnostic accuracy of the scan, equating to 10mln scans per year in the US.
The model sets out to save money and time by skipping the administration of contrast agent, which sometimes is not performed properly and can require the rescheduling of appointments.
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the company maintained its momentum in the first half of 2020, especially within the IB subsidiary, while in the fourth quarter it decided to retain its StoneChecker division after putting it up for sale.
“The accomplishments by the Imaging Biometrics team thus far in 2020 provided an opportunity for your Board to rethink last year’s decision to dispose of StoneChecker,” Trevor Brown, the company’s chief executive, said last month.
“Interest in medical application in AI has intensified considerably as the year has progressed as the team continue to identify potential software solutions to a widening range of medical imaging challenges,” he added.
“The decision to retain and further develop StoneChecker, enhances the potential to market and sell it in Europe, the US and South Korea, where it already has regulatory approval.”
“The company has entered an exciting phase in its development, and we look forward to updating shareholders as events unfold,” Brown had said in the half-year report.
Shares, which zoomed up 206% in the year to date, were trading at 13.02p on Monday afternoon.