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Celgene partners with IBM for new pharmacovigilance platform

Published on 02/11/16 at 09:30am

IBM is set to join forces with Celgene to develop a new drug safety evaluation platform, it has emerged.

Running on Watson Health Cloud, the new “Watson for Patient Safety” will analyse the safety of pharmaceutical products both in the development stage and post-launch by utilising data gathered from anonymised medical records and FDA individual case safety reports, meaning potential risks can be identified quicker and much more efficiently. The pharmacovigilance platform also even learns as it digests more and more data.

“For a long time, very big decisions around the use and disposition of drugs have been taken based on small datasets,” said John Freeman, corporate vice president of global drug safety and risk management at Celgene. “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.”

The latest data from the FDA places the number of submitted drug side-effects at 1,289,133 in 2014. While the new technology obviously has great cost-saving potential for pharma companies, and potentially for drug pricing, it could also have significant impact on patients by enabling those at greatest risk of newly identified risks to manage their conditions more effectively.

 “Celgene established one of the first risk management systems and its commitment to pharmacovigilance continues with this partnership,” commented Lauren O’Donnell, vice president of life sciences at IBM Watson Health. “Together we look forward to creating a cognitive solution that can be applied across the industry to help benefit patients everywhere.”

Matt Fellows

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