LONDON—AstraZeneca and PatientsLikeMe, a patient network and real-time research platform that connects patients with similar conditions to track and share their experiences, have established a five-year agreement to provide access to PatientsLikeMe's global network to support AstraZeneca's patient-driven research initiatives. Utilizing patient-reported data from PatientsLikeMe will help AstraZeneca shape future medicine development and improve patient outcomes across its main therapeutic areas. The initial areas of focus will include respiratory disease, lupus, diabetes and oncology.
“Understanding what patients are experiencing every day and how they define the value of their treatments are fundamental to our ability to push the boundaries of science in developing the next-generation of medicines,” Briggs Morrison, executive vice president of Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca, commented in a statement. “Our partnership with PatientsLikeMe will help us to harness the important perspectives of patients through their advanced technology and real-world, real-time evidence to support our research and development programs.”
As PatientsLikeMe notes on its website, individuals have shared their experiences “on more than 2,300 diseases, everything from rare diseases like ALS to more prevalent diseases like depression, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Through health profiles, members monitor how they’re doing between doctor or hospital visits, document the severity of their symptoms, identify triggers, note how they are responding to new treatments and track side effects. They learn from the aggregated data of others with the same experiences and see, often for the first time, just how they are really doing.”
“It’s rare to find a partner so committed to listening to and integrating the patient voice into the heart of its scientific development and operations. We’re excited to work together to transform the discovery and healthcare model and develop products and services tailored to what patients experience and truly need,” Ed Godber, executive vice president of Life Sciences Ventures for PatientsLikeMe, said in a press release.
In other recent partnering news for AstraZeneca, the company announced on March 26 that it had joined a public-private consortium with Genomics England to help accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments resulting from the 100,000 Genomes Project. The GENE Consortium (Genomics Network for Enterprises Consortium) unites industry, academia and the National Health Service Genomic Medicine Centres, with a goal of transforming treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases. Per the collaboration, AstraZeneca, along with the consortium's other industry partners, will contribute seed funding and scientists to work on the project. Members will be able to access information from 5,000 whole genomes collected in the first stage of the 100,000 Genomes Project.
“We’re excited to be involved in what is the largest genomics collaboration in the world,” Dr. Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of Innovative Medicines and Early Development said of the collaboration. “Our commitment to the 100,000 Genomes Project gives us the opportunity to work side-by-side with leading scientists from different disciplines to better understand how complex data coming out of the project can be converted into innovative treatments and diagnostics. As the UK’s leading pharmaceutical company in oncology, we are particularly looking forward to contributing our expertise in personalized healthcare and companion diagnostics to benefit patients and to further enhance the reputation of UK science around the world.”