Looking Back: Reviewing 2023 at Indica Labs

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    As we welcome the new year and look back on 2023, the Indica Labs team wants to extend our heartfelt thanks to our customers and collaborators. We feel privileged to have been a part of our customers’ impactful contributions in the lab and clinic, and it is thrilling to hear of their successes improving patient care as well as our understanding and treatment of disease. HALO® users chronicled their efforts in over 400 peer-reviewed publications in 2023 with an average impact factor of 14.6, and you can learn more about their exciting work by reviewing our Literature Page.

    In our twelfth year, Indica Labs saw further expansion and welcomed new team members across the company. We strive to maintain our culture of excellence, respect, and comradery as we continue to grow, and are proud to have had these efforts acknowledged with another recognition as a top workplace by the Albuquerque Journal. “A lot has happened over the past four years and I’m grateful for the flexibility, diligence, and tenacity of our employees,” said Steven Hashagen, Indica Labs founder and CEO. “We are proud to be recognized with this award for the fourth straight year.”

    With such an eventful year behind us, a concise overview of our key events and milestones is in order.

    Click here to jump to the clinical and diagnostic year in review.

    2023 Year in Review - Life Sciences

    Events

    As COVID-19 travel concerns continued to ease in 2023, Indica Labs again expanded our selection of in-person user group meetings and exhibited and presented at dozens of conferences. We hosted user group meetings in Boston, Shanghai, Osaka, South San Francisco, and London, and were honored to have speakers from across academia, industry, and medicine join us to share about a host of exciting HALO applications. The Indica team also attended over 25 conferences across the USA, EU, UK, China, and Japan, where we had the pleasure of speaking with new and familiar acquaintances, presenting 19 posters, and giving 15 conference workshop and platform presentations.

    Considering online events, we presented 15 webinars in 2023. Our four HALO customer webinars discussed topics ranging from a pathology department’s implementation of our enterprise digital pathology platform, HALO AP®, for routine diagnostic use, to leveraging HALO and RNAscope® for analysis of cell heterogeneity across organ systems. In addition, we presented four masterclasses, including two in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics exploring multiplex IHC, a collaborative webinar with ACD, a Bio-Techne company, on RNAscope image analysis in HALO, and six product showcases. If you missed any of these events, visit the webinars section on our News and Events page to watch the recordings.

    Partnership News

    2023 brought Indica Labs numerous exciting new partnerships in the clinical space, while existing relationships continued to flourish. You can learn more about our new partnerships with Xyall, Lunit, and Merge by Merative by clicking here to visit the clinical section of this blog post.

    In the life science space, during 2023 we were delighted to maintain our collaborations with ACD and Lunaphore, a Biotechne company. We appreciated the opportunity to present on HALO image analysis during several of Lunaphore’s in-person and online symposia and to collaborate on an unsupervised learning clustering workflow detailed in a joint poster at the Digital Pathology and AI Congress: Europe. View the poster to learn more about this powerful workflow for interrogating the tissue microenvironment and depicting tissue architecture on the single-cell level.

    In addition to our collaborative webinar, our partnership with ACD also included a joint study and poster, which was presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer annual meeting and is now available online. This study applied ACD’s RNA and Protein Co-Detection workflow and AI-powered HALO image analysis for streamlined single-slide characterization, quantification, and spatial analysis of RNA and protein expression in a single assay.

    Product Updates

    It was another busy year for the software development teams at Indica Labs with the release of the 3.6 versions of HALO, HALO AI, and HALO Link. If you haven’t updated to the latest version, you can find information on new features, functionalities, and support documentation in this blog post. You can also see demonstrations of many of the new features in the HALO and HALO AI 3.6 sneak peek and HALO and HALO Link 3.6 sneak peek webinars. 2023 also saw the release of a new Microglial Activation module for fluorescence and an updated module for brightfield. You can learn more about both in this post.

    There were numerous exciting accomplishments and groundbreaking launches across our clinical offerings in 2023, from the latest update to HALO AP to the launch of multiple AI-based decision-support tools. Looking ahead, a new version of SlideQC which enables users to perform quality control of both their H&E and IHC slides with one product will be released for HALO AP and HALO AI in early 2024.

    Customer Support

    In 2023, we were excited to announce the launch of Indica Labs Cloud Services. This team helps organizations realize the benefits of cloud deployment by providing comprehensive management of our HALO software platforms in Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-hosted environments. You can learn more about Cloud Services and how they can help your organization get the most from your AWS-hosted HALO deployment by reading the launch press release and browsing their page.

    Last year also saw the start of a blog series exploring the expertise, tools, and processes of our Pharma Services team. You can learn more about this group of experienced image analysts and imaging scientists by checking out the blog and the group’s page, and reach out if you would like to learn more about how your project could benefit from Pharma Services’ expertise.

    In 2023, we released many new resources for both the basic research and clinical communities, including an application note on imaging mass cytometry, an eBook on the development and validation of our Lung PD-L1 AI algorithm, and a case study on the implementation of HALO AP at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. To view these resources and others, including webinars, tutorial videos, release notes, and administration guides, sign up for our Learning Portal. Additionally, you can subscribe to our newsletter, using the form at the bottom of our homepage, if you would like news of the latest Indica Labs releases, events, and customer support materials to come to you.

    2023 Year in Review - Clinical and Diagnostic

    Partnerships

    Our partnerships with industry leaders and technology innovators are foundational to our mission. These collaborations go beyond strategic alignment and are integral to our collective growth, innovation, and success in advancing digital pathology as a field. In April, Indica Labs partnered with Lunit to bring their SCOPE PD-L1 algorithm to the HALO AP platform, cementing our commitment to open digital pathology. April also saw the establishment of a partnership with Xyall to transform precision oncology workflows through automated macrodissection. In November, Merge by Merative and Indica Labs partnered to bring HALO AP to Merge users, providing them with a powerful, flexible platform for digital pathology.

    In 2023, our commitment to strengthening and nurturing our existing partnerships was a key focus at Indica Labs. We continued to work with our existing partners, among them Hamamatsu and DeepBio, to further digital pathology, AI-powered diagnostics, and enhance our customers’ experiences.

    Enhancing Patient Care with Digital Pathology

    Indica Labs is committed to enabling our clinical users to realize the benefits of digital pathology. From hospitals to research organizations, HALO AP® continues to be the most flexible and powerful diagnostic digital pathology platform available. At Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), where HALO AP is used for primary diagnosis on over 72,000 cases a year, patients are receiving faster diagnoses leading to quicker treatment while pathologists are improving their collaboration and work life balance at the same time. Click here to read the case study on how implementing HALO AP at NUH has improved efficiency and work-life balance and click here to watch our webinar with Dr. David Clark, Head of Digital Pathology Implementation at NUH, where he discusses the process of implementing digital pathology with HALO AP and answers viewer questions about his hospital’s transition to digital pathology.

    AI-Powered Open Pathology

    2023 was a breakthrough year for our HALO Clinical AI Solutions. HALO Prostate AI, our AI-powered diagnostic-support tool for identifying and grading prostatic adenocarcinoma, was featured in an NPJ Precision Oncology article where it was shown to perform on par with expert genitourinary pathologists in identifying and grading prostatic adenocarcinoma, even identifying several areas of tumor that were initially missed by human reviewers.

    Several of our HALO Clinical AI offerings launched in 2023, expanding our AI offerings to include IHC expression analysis. In November 2023, we launched Lung PD-L1 AI, an automated decision-support tool that analyzes and quantifies PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung cancer cases. December 2023 saw the launch of Breast IHC AI, an AI-powered decision-support tool that evaluates and quantifies the most common breast cancer biomarkers (ER, PR, HER2, and Ki67) in cases of invasive breast carcinoma. Both products include a built-in quality control step, visual tumor heatmaps and colorimetric, cell-level results that provide pathologists and researchers with the information they need to conduct IHC expression analysis in a more standardized, efficient way.

    For slide quality control, SlideQC BF currently offers labs a method of automated slide quality control for the most common slide generation artifacts which scans every H&E slide before they reach the pathologist. Looking ahead, we have recently developed our SlideQC product to improve overall performance of artifact detection and add additional functionality that will enable users to automate and streamline both their H&E and IHC quality control process in a single tool. This product will be released for both HALO AP and HALO AI in early 2024.

    Commitment to Providing the Tools Pathologists Need

    2023 was also an exciting year to be a HALO AP user, with two software releases over the year. HALO AP 2.1 brought a more powerful digital slide tray, editable annotations, and an ergonomic navigation mode that made viewing images easier than ever. You can learn more about additional features of the release in this blog post. Among other new features and quality of life improvements, HALO AP 2.2 provided users who have a Clinical Trials license with our new Blind Scoring tool that simplifies blinded assay workflows, reducing bias and improving data quality. Check out this blog post to learn more about the new features available in HALO AP 2.2.

    Looking Ahead

    At Indica Labs, we remain dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our customers and our mission of improving diagnostics and research with our innovative solutions. We look forward to seeing you at one of our in-person user group meetings in 2024, or online during a webinar. To stay up to date on events and product news don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, visit our News and Events page, and follow us on X and LinkedIn.

    From novel developments across our research and clinical portfolios, including a major life science release, to exciting new partnerships, at Indica labs we’re excited for what 2024 will bring. The future of digital pathology is bright, and we thank our customers and collaborators who partner with us in the journey toward new discoveries and improved patient care.

    Regulatory Statements

    HALO AI Prostate is CE-marked for in-vitro diagnostic use in Europe, the UK, and Switzerland. HALO AI Prostate is For Research Use Only in the US and is not FDA cleared for clinical diagnostic use. HALO AI Prostate is accessed via the HALO AP® enterprise digital pathology platform.

    Lung PD-L1 AI is For Research Use Only and not intended for clinical diagnostic use. Lung PD-L1 AI is accessed via the HALO AP® enterprise digital pathology platform.

    Breast IHC AI is For Research Use Only and not intended for clinical diagnostic use. Breast IHC AI is accessed via the HALO AP® enterprise digital pathology platform.

    SlideQC BF is a quality control tool for whole slide images and is not regulated as a medical device under Regulation EU 2017/746 (IVDR) or MDR 2002 (UK).

    HALO AP® is CE-marked for in-vitro diagnostic use in Europe, the UK, and Switzerland. HALO AP is For Research Use Only in the US and is not FDA cleared for clinical diagnostic use. In addition, HALO AP provides built-in compliance and certifications with FDA 21 CFR Part 11, ISO 13485:2016, HIPAA, and GDPR.