Guerbet took a big step towards advancing its AI strategy, acquiring a 39% stake in French imaging software company Intrasense, and revealing ambitious future plans for their combined technologies.
Through Intrasense, Guerbet gains access to a visualization and AI platform and a team of AI integration experts to help bring its algorithms into clinical use. The tie-up could also create future platform and algorithm development opportunities, and the expansion of their technologies across Guerbet’s global installed base.
The €8.8M investment (€0.44/share, a 34% premium) could turn into a €22.5M acquisition, as Guerbet plans to file a voluntary tender offer for all remaining shares.
Even though Guerbet is a €700M company and Intrasense is relatively small (~€3.8M 2022 revenue, 67 employees on LinkedIn), this seems like a significant move given and Guerbet’s increasing emphasis on AI:
- Guerbet now positions AI as one of its three growth pillars
- Guerbet just acquired the algorithms and AI tech that it co-developed with Merative/IBM
- Guerbet now has AI for the detection of liver, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, and bone metastases (and distributes icometrix’s neuroimaging AI)
What Guerbet was lacking before now (especially since ending its Merative/IBM alliance) was a future AI platform – and Intrasense should help fill that void.
If Guerbet acquires Intrasense it would continue the recent AI consolidation wave, while adding contrast manufacturers to the growing list of previously-unexpected AI startup acquirers (joining imaging center networks, precision medicine analytics companies, and EHR analytics firms).
However, contrast manufacturers could play a much larger role in imaging AI going forward, considering the high priority that Bayer is placing on its Calantic AI platform.
Guerbet has been promoting its AI ambitions for several years, and this week’s Intrasense investment suggests that the French contrast giant is ready to transition from developing algorithms to broadly deploying them. That would take a lot more work, but Guerbet’s scale and imaging expertise makes it worth keeping an eye on if you’re in the AI space.