Keosys is an imaging solutions provider supporting biopharmaceutical companies around the world since 2001. As the company celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we cannot help but look back, reflect on the past, and look forward to the future.
A Start-up Fairytale from Nantes
As with many start-ups, this one began with a couple of friends noting a problem and working to find a solution.
Back in 2001, the internet was not as fast as it is today and there were many compatibility issues between imaging vendors. Collaborations between institutions were, therefore, challenging and limited. Keosys was born to provide solutions to these technical problems, and in 2003, the very first electronic light box for the centralized interpretation of PET/CT was launched: the Positoscope.
With the Positoscope, users could upload PET imaging that was then sent via high-speed networks to other physicians at different sites for second opinions. Over time, Keosys focused on constantly improving the product to make sure it was suitable for all modalities and manufacturers.
Beyond the Positoscope
After a few years of experience in the clinical space and many collaborations with the academic sector, Keosys’ focus started to shift toward clinical research. In 2007, Keosys was selected as the imaging provider for a large pivotal study in Hodgkin's lymphoma for which real time, blinded, independent central reads were needed. It was the beginning of a completely new adventure for the company.
With each subsequent trial, Keosys’ experience grew. And, as in the early days, each time the Keosys team saw a problem in the industry, they worked to find a solution. In 2008, the Imagys platform was born, providing a web-based, end-to-end imaging solution for clinical trials. In 2015, JMC Family Office invested in Keosys to help further the growth of the company and expand its capabilities across the world. Since then, Keosys has:
- Completed large phase III trials leading to drug approvals by the FDA and EMA
- Expanded its services to include the management of dosimetry analysis
- Signed multi-year, multi-study contracts with top 5 pharmaceutical companies
- Continuously improved its software for all users, including sponsors and monitors
Lessons Learned along the Way
Many things have been accomplished over the past 20 years and many lessons have been learned. Clinical research is a captivating sector, but it comes with specific challenges:
- Many stakeholders are often involved with different objectives and priorities. Keosys learned early on that communication and transparency were essential for smooth trial management. Frequent meetings were introduced and specific user accounts on Imagys were created for sponsors, giving them real-time access to imaging data and KPIs.
- Study requirements, recruitment rates, and timelines can change on short notice. Therefore, Keosys decided to keep its development team internal in order to be as flexible as possible and able to quickly implement software updates as needed. Keosys readers are, however, all external consultants. Yet, a pool of 100+ experienced readers (already contracted) are always available should there be any need to scale-up on a study at any time.
Ready for the Future
Keosys may still be relatively young, but it is a focused imaging company with a clear organic growth strategy. Development will rely on long-term partnerships with sponsors (biotechnology and big pharma companies) in oncology across Europe and North America.
In the next few years, Keosys will keep implementing new imaging criteria as they are published and work on integrating deep learning algorithms to its software to analyse data and automate processes. But most importantly, Keosys will keep looking for ways to improve user experience and, as in 2001, always find a solution to any sponsor’s problem.