Northern Ireland

PathXL: Belfast-based medical software firm sold to Philips

Philips Image copyright Philips
Image caption Philips say they are acquiring a company which has "deep clinical knowledge"

The Belfast-based digital pathology firm PathXL, has been sold to the multinational health technology company, Philips.

PathXL specialises in software which improves the analysis of cancer tumours.

It was established in 2004 as a spinout from Queen's University, Belfast, and currently employs 30 people.

Philips said PathXL's image analysis and tissue pathology software will complement its existing products.

A spokesman for Philips told the Reuters news agency that its digital pathology business was already "doubling every year".

He said its digital pathology sales would pass "several tens of millions" of euros in sales this year, including the acquisition.

Philips chief executive, Frans van Houten, said: "The computer can do a much better job than the human eye, as it is much more systematic in analysing tissues.

"We're acquiring a company that has deep clinical knowledge and technology to analyse cancerous cells."

PathXL was founded by Queen's University academics Prof Peter Hamilton and Dr Jim Diamond.

They are shareholders in the business which has been through several rounds of funding.

Its backers include Crescent Capital, Beltrae Partners and Invest Northern Ireland.

The terms of the sale have not been disclosed.