Merck to co-lead global cancer big data alliance

Tuesday, 12 September, 2017

Merck is collaborating with independent not-for-profit Project Data Sphere to jointly lead the Global Oncology Big Data Alliance (GOBDA).

The ultimate goal of the alliance with Project Data Sphere is to unleash the power of big data to bring value to cancer patients, said Belén Garijo, member of the executive board of Merck and CEO Healthcare.

The collaboration was announced at the signing of a memorandum of understanding to coincide with Merck's Award Ceremony announcing the recipients of its 2017 Grant for Oncology Innovation, held during the annual European Society for Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO 2017) in Madrid, Spain.

The GOBDA initiative has been formed to expand the open access of de-identified patient datasets to further enhance analytical capabilities, by building on Project Data Sphere's innovative digital platform. 

The current platform contains historical clinical trial data from almost 100,000 patients provided by multiple organisations, and access to this information has already led to new and potentially practice-changing findings.

GOBDA will expand this platform to include rare tumour trial, experimental arm and real-world patient data. Leveraging these data with big data analytics will help to optimise clinical trials, build a registry of data and help to enable advancement in the understanding of cancer treatment globally, with the mission to address the significant unmet needs in this field. In addition, by unleashing analytical power and big data to study and learn how to better manage rare but serious immune-mediated adverse events, institutes and industry will be able to assist regulators to adapt these new learnings into treatment guidelines. As well as establishing models to help enable early adverse event identification and improved patient outcomes.

"Big data is changing the face of health care as we know it, and advances in our ability to collect data, share and analyse it has already led to groundbreaking work," said Dr Martin J Murphy, CEO of Project Data Sphere, LLC.

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