Siemens Healthineers and biotechnology company Biogen have inked a deal to jointly develop MRI applications with the intent of quantifying key markers of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity and progression. Officials for Siemens say this partnership will enable the development of new measurement tools to better understand and combat MS.

“Our shared goal is to create a solution that can be integrated into the existing radiology workflow, so it can become a seamless part of routine care—delivering new and valuable information to treating neurologists without increasing the cost or burden on the healthcare system,” says Christoph Zindel, MD, senior vice president of MRI at Siemens Healthineers.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that quantitative MRI measures may provide additional information about disease prognosis and therapeutic effect, but today quantitative measurement techniques with the precision and sensitivity required for MS are typically only available in the research setting. With the development and validation of automated MRI applications to quantify key markers of MS, including new T2 lesions and brain atrophy, patients could benefit from the availability of enhanced data at the point of care.

Richard Rudick, MD, vice president of development sciences at Biogen, extolled the benefits of his company’s collaboration with Siemens, commenting: “Biogen believes that the availability of high-quality, standardized data at the point of care can lead to a deeper understanding of MS, more informed treatment decisions and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes.”

“We also recognize that the ability to generate research-quality data in the course of routine clinical practice can unlock the potential of the healthcare system to move toward precision medicine,” Rudick adds.

For more information about this partnership, visit Siemens Healthineers.