The drug development process is rife with risks. Some compounds can show promise in the early stages of clinical trials, but then serious adverse events can emerge in the final phase of testing hampering further experiments or patients could have unexpected reactions to a drug that has already been on the market for a number of years.
However, a new collaboration between Celgene and computing giant IBM hopes to solve this problem by creating a comprehensive drug safety program called IBM Watson for Patient Safety.
The platform, “will allow for the rapid collection, collation and automated analysis of vast amounts of data from a variety of sources,” according to FierceBiotech.
IBM’s well-known artificial intelligence program Watson will synthesize data points from anonymized electronic medical records, medical claims databases, and similar sources to help life science companies make decisions throughout the development process.
“For a long time, very big decisions around the use and disposition of drugs have been taken based on small datasets,” explained John Freeman, Celgene’s corporate vice president of global drug safety and risk management, to FierceBiotech.
“This is an opportunity to not only streamline the way that information is handled within pharma companies and regulators, but also to enable much greater clarity of insight born of an ability to access large datasets,” continued Freeman.
Essentially, pharmaceutical companies could harness this platform to enhance analysis of possible side-effects linked to different drugs. Also, patients at risk of succumbing to these side-effects may access this information to improve management of their disease and lower the risk of developing these dangerous conditions.
Another added benefit of Watson is that it can continuously learn and update itself as it processes more information. This feature will help the program cope with rises in reported adverse events, according to Fortune.
The hope is that this endeavor could help companies avoid repeated costly failures, which could benefit patients by having more cost-effective therapies reach the market.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery