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Bayer acquires British medical imaging AI developer Blackford

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen

By Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer agreed to acquire Blackford Analysis Ltd., a British developer of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that help diagnose disease from medical images, to boost the German company's radiology business.

Healthcare and agriculture company Bayer said in a statement on Wednesday that the deal was part of a strategy to expand in digital analysis of medical images, which are taken with the help of Bayer's contrast agents on computed tomography, X-ray, and magnetic resonance scanners.

The company declined to disclose the deal's financial terms.

In 2021, sales at Bayer's radiology business with its contrast agents, injection systems and software accounted for 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) of 44 billion euros in group sales.

During the third quarter of last year the radiology business saw sales increase 7% on growing demand for scans of cardiovascular disease and tumours.

Founded in 2010, Blackford's financial backers include Archangel Investors, TRI Cap, Scottish Enterprise and Old College Capital.

($1 = 0.9239 euros)

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss; Editing by Madeline Chambers)