Vuno said that it would develop DEPREDICT, an artificial intelligence software that can predict antidepressant efficacy for patients suffering from major depression disorder (MDD), jointly with Europe's leading neuroimaging companies and research institutes.
DEPREDICT SW can predict the long-term treatment efficacy of antidepressants by artificially analyzing MRI after patients with MDD take the drug. The project will kick off this year and finish by 2022.
"The study is significant as it is the world's first software to predict antidepressant drug reactivity by combining radiology and deep learning with psychiatry," the company said. "We expect its platform will reduce the antidepressant screening process by 75 percent and fundamentally change the relevant clinical decision making."
Such a platform is needed as more than half of MDD patients are unable to find a cure for more than a year of treatment and have to go through repetitive treatment with high-risk antidepressants, the company added.
The consortium selected Vuno in recognition of the Korean company’s work on developing a brain MRI-based Alzheimer's disease prediction algorithm.
Vuno will lead the project ranging from designing algorithms that analyze specific patterns in MRIs taken after antidepressant treatment to developing software that accurately predicts the long-term therapeutic effects of administered drugs.
Its strategy is to create synergies by actively collaborating with leading European companies and research institutes, including NordicNeuroLab, Professor Liesbeth Reneman's research team at Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and Professor Atle Bjørnerud's research team at Oslo University Hospital.
"Vuno expects that the AI solutions will make early predictions about the specific antidepressant efficacy on MDD patients, which can lead to dramatic changes in the clinical environment," Vuno CEO Lee Ye-ha said. "As a leading medical AI solution company in Korea and the world, Vuno will actively participate in this research and produce successful results."
There are more than 300 million people with MDD worldwide, and more than 800,000 people die every year from the disease. The global market for antidepressants is estimated to grow to about $18.6 billion by 2025.
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