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Two Opioid Addiction Treatments Found Safe, Effective

Heroin powder

Heroin powder (Drug Enforcement Administration)

15 November 2017. A clinical trial testing two leading therapies for opioid abuse found the treatments both safe and effective, even though they work in different ways. Results of the comparative effectiveness study, led by researchers at New York University medical school appear in yesterday’s issue of the journal The Lancet (paid subscription required).

The team led by psychiatry professor John Rotrosen and population health specialist Joshua Lee, the paper’s senior and first authors respectively, sought evidence to support choosing between two of the leading drugs prescribed in opioid treatment programs, extended-release naltrexone or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Extended-release naltrexone, marketed as Vivitrol by Alkermes Inc. is given as a monthly injection, while the buprenorphine-naloxone combination, marketed as Suboxone by Indivior Inc. is taken by patients daily as a film dissolved under the tongue.

The drugs work in quite different ways. Vivitrol, the extended-release naltrexone, blocks the activation of opioid receptors and requires complete detoxification before beginning treatment. Suboxone, the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, still activates opioid receptors, but only mildly, which helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The need for complete removal of opioids from the body limits the use of Vivitrol for many prospective patients, while Suboxone can be used as a maintenance drug in a structured treatment program. The two drugs had not been previously evaluated head-to-head.

The clinical trial, funded in part by National Institute on Drug Abuse at National Institutes of Health, enrolled 570 adults addicted to heroin or prescription opioid drugs, and still taking non-prescribed opioids. Participants were recruited from 8 residential treatment facilities in the U.S., where they were randomly assigned to receive either Vivitrol or Suboxone as part of their therapies. The treatments continued for 24 weeks, including outpatient follow-ups after the residential programs.

Rotrosen, Lee, and colleagues looked primarily at relapse-free survival during the 24 weeks, with relapse defined as any non-prescribed opioid use, detected in urine tests and reports from participants themselves. The results show, as expected, a larger percentage of recruits for the study receiving Suboxone (94%) were able to participate in the full treatment programs than those receiving Vivitrol (72%), who first needed to completely detox. As a result, somewhat more of the total participants successfully began their treatment programs with Suboxone (65%) than Vivitrol (57%).

Among participants successfully starting their programs, however, the early relapse percentages are about the same for the two treatments — 52 percent for Vivitrol and 56 percent for Suboxone — both in their urine samples and number of days remaining clean. Self-reported opioid craving was at first lower among Vivitrol recipients, but by the end of the study became similar for both treatment groups. Some Vivitrol recipients experienced mild to moderate injection site reactions, but the number of treatment-related adverse events were otherwise about the same for both groups. Those adverse events include overdoses, including 5 fatal overdoses during the study.

The researchers conclude the two drugs provide different strategies for treating opioid abuse, but once initiated are both safe and equally effective. “The good news is we filled the evidentiary void,” says Rotrosen in a NIDA statement, “and also learned that for those who were able to initiate treatment, the outcomes were essentially identical, as were adverse events. This gives patients the freedom to choose a treatment approach that best suits their lifestyle, goals and wishes.”

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Helping Your IT Brand Become a Mighty Brand

– Contributed content –

Circuit board

(blickpixel, Pixabay)

14 November 2017. Are you running an IT company in the twenty-first century? Join the line of millions of other IT and software firms that are struggling to make a name in an ever-competitive industry. The constantly evolving and exponentially-growing world of technology has created more demand than ever for new digitally-orientated products and services. However, it also means that there are more companies than ever competing for that ideal target market. It can be hard to make any impact when hundreds of other firms are competing with you even within your specific industry niche in a specific town or city.

Your IT company needs an “it” brand. What does that mean? Well, if you have to ask that question then your brand might not be up to scratch yet. You and your team might be offering a high-quality and highly professional service. You might be determined, enthusiastic, and intellectually geared towards everything involving information technology. However, none of that is enough if you don’t know how to develop a strong brand. Your competitors are also offering high-quality services, so how are you going to stand out from the crowd? The average consumer can barely differentiate between such similar businesses, so there’s no saying that they’ll choose you. You have to develop a strong company identity that’ll make them choose you. Here’s some advice on how to turn your IT brand into a mighty brand.

Employee productivity.

Start off by looking at your workforce. A strong brand starts behind the scenes. There’s no point claiming that your business’ customer service is second-to-none if your members of staff are unhelpful or flustered on the phone or on social media. There’s no point in claiming that your products and services will be delivered more quickly than they would from your competitors if your warehouse isn’t as productive as it could be. Consumers will be more annoyed to find that your brand marketing is a lie than if you hadn’t made big promises in the first place. Before you start preaching about how great your IT firm might be, you need to actually make it great.

You could start by outsourcing administrative or difficult tasks. If there’s any simple task that’s taking up your workers’ time then outsource it, and if there’s any task that you’re not completing to a professional level then outsource it. The beauty of the digital age is that it’s easier than ever to connect with outsourced companies in remote locations and get them to cover your services. Perhaps that’ll involve an outsourced customer service line or an outsourced data specialist. The point is that your IT business needs to find a way to become as productive and efficient as it says it is in its branding. That’s the way to avoid bad reviews and start building your brand towards becoming a household name.

Digital marketing.

Digital marketing is the key to a strong brand. In the world of information technology, you most likely know the importance of utilizing the internet to boost your IT company’s brand. Of course, if you’re struggling to make an impact on the target market then you should rethink your digital advertising strategy. You might want to use a marketing agency for your MSP because the way in which an IT service provider needs to generate leads and intrigue consumers in the modern age is very specific to its industry.

The point is that you might benefit from professional help to ensure that your company’s website is well-designed and using the correct content for the IT industry. It’s all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because this smart technique will help ensure that your business’ website and general online presence is boosted on search result pages. Digital marketing in the modern age is all about letting the target market come to you before any of your competitors; ranking well on Google or Bing will ensure that they find you first when searching for terms related to your industry.

The market.

Most importantly, if you want your IT brand to succeed over all other brands then you need to keep one eye on the market. This goes for all industries, of course, but the world of information technology is evolving rapidly, so it’s even more important in your line of business. IT firms can easily be left behind and become outdated if they fail to keep up with the times. Watch what your competitors are doing, and continue to do research into what your target market wants too. A mighty IT brand is one which offers innovative solutions to consumer’s problems before they even realized they needed them.

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Alliance Exploring Microbiome on Cancer Immunotherapy

Gut bacteria illustration

Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, in white, a type of bacteria living on mammalian cells in the gut (MIT Media Lab/NIH)

14 November 2017. A biotechnology company and two research institutes are collaborating on a study of a proposed cancer treatment that targets the microbiome, communities of bacteria in the human body. The project will assess a treatment developed by Seres Therapeutics Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, sponsored by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in San Francisco.

Seres Therapeutics discovers and develops therapies related to disruptions in the microbiome, the complex aggregate community of diverse intestinal microbes associated with a wide range of health conditions. These disruptions to the microbiome known as dysbiosis  — resulting from pathogens, antibiotics, diet, or inflammation — are increasingly connected or contribute to many chronic and degenerative diseases.

The company’s technology is based on a library of microbial strains collected from healthy human donors. From this library, Seres uses computational techniques to identify microbial communities in the gut associated with healthy and diseased states, then zeroes-in on specific microorganisms, which in the right combinations, can restore healthy functions in the gut from a state of dysbiosis. The company purifies these target microbial combinations into therapy candidates for testing in lab cultures and animal models, and later in clinical trials.

For cancer immunotherapy, Seres has an option to license the rights to discoveries at MD Anderson, part of the University of Texas system, involving gut bacteria combined with cancer immunotherapies. Much of MD Anderson’s work in this field is done by Jennifer Wargo, who studies immunotherapy, particularly for melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. In a paper published in Science magazine earlier this month, Wargo and colleagues tested fecal samples of melanoma patients undergoing immunotherapy targeting PD-1 proteins, known as checkpoint proteins, on T-cells in the immune system. These checkpoint inhibitors are designed to block the binding actions of PD-1 proteins, enabling T-cells to produce an immune-system response against cancer cells.

The researchers found melanoma patients who responded to immunotherapy treatments had a different gut microbe composition than patients that did not respond. Responding patients, for example, had a more diverse set of gut microbes, and while the responding patients’ microbial communities were not identical, they more often showed the presence of Ruminococcaceae bacteria than non-responders. These are common gut microbes that break down complex carbohydrates. Fecal transplants of responders’ gut microbes into lab mice also produced higher anti-tumor immunity.

“Immunotherapy has represented an important advance for melanoma and other cancers,” says Wargo in a joint statement. “However, in the majority of patients, the response is not adequate to durably control disease. Modulation of the microbiome is a promising approach that may improve the therapeutic benefit of checkpoint therapy.”

Seres is developing an oral therapy harnessing the microbiome code-named SER-401, now in preclinical testing. SER-401, says the company, is designed to boost the effectiveness and safety of anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors with a specific collection of gut bacteria. The joint project includes a placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating SER-401 among patients with advanced metastatic melanoma.

The Parker Institute is a foundation-supported consortium of immunologists and cancer specialists at academic cancer centers, including MD Anderson, that seeks to accelerate development of cancer therapies harnessing the immune system.

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FDA Clears First Sensor-Pill and App System

Proteus Discover system

Proteus Discover system — pill with sensor, patch, and mobile app (Proteus Digital Health)

14 November 2017. The Food and Drug Administration approved for the first time in the U.S. a system that combines pills with built-in sensors and a mobile app to track adherence. The Abilify MyCite system is a product of Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the Tokyo-based maker of the drug Abilify being delivered, and Proteus Digital Health that designed the wearable patch and app to track the drug in the body, based on its Proteus Discover system.

Abilify MyCite is made to track adherence to Abilify for people with schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder — defined as manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care — and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults. Abilify is the brand name for aripiprazole, an oral drug approved for controlling symptoms associated with these conditions, approved by FDA in 2002.

Built into Abilify tablets is an event marker sensor made by Proteus Digital Health in Redwood City, California. The sensor, about the size of a grain of sand and made with biocompatible materials, is activated by fluids in the stomach. A MyCite patch is worn on the torso and tracks ingestion of the sensor-pill, as well as date/time and activity level, which sends signals to a MyCite mobile device app providing immediate feedback to the individual taking the drug. The app can also relay the data to web-based dashboards for tracking by clinicians and caregivers. FDA first approved the ingestible sensor in 2012.

FDA notes that Abilify MyCite should be used to track ingestion of the drug in routine cases to improve overall management of an individual’s therapy for these psychiatric conditions. The system, says the agency, should not be used for real-time tracking or in emergency situations. FDA adds that Abilify MyCite has not yet been shown to improve compliance of individuals with treatment regimens.

The Abilify MyCite system is approved for adults, but not children, and comes with a medication guide that outlines its uses and risks. FDA advises that patients continue to be monitored for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In clinical trials, Abilify is associated with a number of adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, and dizziness. The MyCite patch, in some cases, also causes skin irritation.

Otsuka and Proteus plan to introduce the system beginning with a few health plans and providers, identifying candidates for Abilify MyCite who can benefit from its use. The system, say the companies, is designed to integrate into people’s lives and encourage a more informed dialogue between the individual and clinicians to improve medical decision-making. Participation by patients is voluntary, who can decide not to share the data or opt out completely.

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Zymeworks, Janssen in $1.45B Antibody Licensing Deal

Computational biology illustration

(Lawrence Livermore National Lab)

13 November 2017. Janssen Biotech, a division of drug maker Johnson & Johnson, is acquiring technologies that make it possible to create synthetic antibodies that hit multiple targets. The agreement could bring biotechnology company Zymeworks Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia as much as $1.45 billion if all parts of the deal are completed.

Zymeworks designs engineered proteins for therapies that it says are derived from algorithms and simulations to better understand the physical structure of protein chemistry. This simulation engine makes it possible to perform multiple virtual experiments with proposed synthetic proteins to discover properties that meet desired therapeutic needs.

The company says that from these technological capabilities, it develops several types of synthetic proteins for biological drugs. Zymeworks’ Azymetric platform creates proteins resembling common immunoglobulin G, or IgG, antibodies that account for about three-quarters of immunoglobulins in humans. With the Azymetric platform, the company says it can produce highly-targeted IgG-like antibodies with high stability and durability, but with changes in their amino acid structure that also can bind to two antigen targets. One product from the Azymetric platform, code-named ZW25, is in an early-stage clinical trial as a treatment for breast cancer addressing HER2 proteins.

Zymeworks says its technology can also produce antibodies that alter the fragment crystallizable, or Fc, region of immunoglobulin G antibodies. This part of IgG antibodies is important in binding to antigens, and by manipulating these properties, says the company, it can refine the impact of engineered antibodies to deliver higher-powered payloads or minimize adverse effects. Zymeworks says this platform it calls Effector Function Enhancement and Control Technology, or Efect, is producing a library of Fc modifications for engineered proteins.

The agreement provides Janssen Biotech with a worldwide license to develop up to 6 synthetic bi-specific antibodies incorporating features from Zymeworks’ Azymetric and Efect platforms, addressing targets identified by Janssen. Under the deal, Janssen is responsible for all research, development, and commercialization of these antibodies.

The deal provides Zymeworks with an initial payment of $50 million, with the company eligible for another $282 million in development milestone payments. If the products reach commercialization stages, Zymeworks will also be eligible for further milestone payments and royalties valued at $1.12 billion. In addition, Janssen has an option to develop 2 more bi-specific antibodies, with Zymeworks eligible for a future undisclosed option payment.

Janssen says it has a number of synthetic antibodies in development for cancer, immune system disorders, cardiovascular, metabolic, and infectious diseases. The agreement with Janssen is not an exclusive license, however. Zymeworks also has licensing agreements with drug makers Celgene, Daiichi Sankyo, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and Company, and Merck.

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Disclosure: The author owns shares in Johnson & Johnson

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Infographic: Largest Hacker Breaches and Regulation Tech

Largest security breaches

(CB Insights)

11 November 2017. Science & Enterprise regularly covers news about regulations affecting science-based businesses, including developments in information system security. Our friends at CB Insights prepared a report on the emerging field of regulation technology, where regulatory specialists develop automated tools to help client companies better understand their requirements, address regulatory challenges, and remain compliant.

Among the most visible and challenging regulatory issues for companies is security breaches, where companies’ systems are attacked with valuable data stolen, in some cases customer data, the subject of this week’s infographic. The research brief and report on regulatory technology is available from the CB Insights web site.

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Math Models to Predict Animal-Borne Disease Outbreaks

Southern bentwing bat

Southern bentwing bat (Steve Bourne, Wikimedia Commons)

10 November 2017. A team of ecologists and mathematicians is applying machine learning and statistical models to forecast outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, those spread to humans from animals. The five-year research project is funded by a $2 million grant from National Science Foundation.

Researchers from Cary Institute of of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, University of Georgia in Athens, and North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro aim to develop better tools for predicting outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, which resulted in several recent epidemics among human populations, such as Ebola, Zika, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. In many cases, humans acquire the viruses or bacteria from animals, such as bats or rodents, but also livestock.

Barbara Han, a disease ecologist with the Cary Institute and project leader, says the team’s research expects to give health authorities better methods to reveal  and prevent upcoming threats from zoonotic disease. “We want to help shift society from a reactive to a proactive approach to managing zoonotic disease,” says Han in a Cary Institute statement. “Instead of responding to outbreaks, let’s try to stop them from happening in the first place.”

Han and colleagues are using machine learning to analyze large databases of mammals, pathogens associated with those animals, and environmental conditions to distill the properties and characteristics associated with the occurrence and spread of zoonotic diseases. These analyses will then be the basis for statistical models to map locations and conditions for future zoonotic disease outbreaks.

From this work, the researchers expect to identify traits of animal species and pathogens, as well as environmental conditions, that are the best predictors of zoonotic disease patterns. The team also plans to uncover factors in the environments of animals and pathogens associated with human infections from zoonotic diseases that can help predict the extent of outbreaks in human populations. The researchers anticipate applying statistical models to reflect these patterns of animal and human infections, and provide evidence-backed tools for predicting zoonotic disease outbreaks based on properties of animal hosts, pathogens, and environmental conditions.

Suzanne O’Regan, a mathematics professor at North Carolina A&T and a researcher on the project, notes that “Over 50 life history features are being incorporated into models for most mammal groups.” Data being collected about mammals include physical, metabolic, and reproductive characteristics, but also timing of the animals’ activities: day, night, dawn, or dusk. Pathogens are being classified on their transmission mechanisms, survivability in hosts or environments, and if they can sustain transmission of disease to many people, or only one person.

Han notes that their project brings advanced data analytics together with classic biological investigations. “These tools merge data mining and machine learning with established methods of studying disease dynamics,” says Han, “to help us think carefully about what’s distinguishing animal groups from each other in terms of zoonotic disease, and eventually, for risk of human spillover and epidemics.”

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Sanofi Acquires Multiple Sclerosis Drug in $800M Deal

Human brain

(Flickr)

10 November 2017. Drug maker Sanofi is licensing a drug candidate from Principia Biopharma Inc. designed to treat multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune condition affecting the brain and nervous system. If all aspects of the agreement are fulfilled, Principia would gain more than $800 million from Sanofi.

Multiple sclerosis is also an autoimmune condition, where the immune system attacks the central nervous system and damages myelin, the fatty, protective substance around nerve fibers, as well as nerve cells themselves. Scar tissue from the damaged myelin, known as sclerosis, distorts the nerve signals sent to and from the brain and spinal cord, causing symptoms ranging from mild numbness to loss of vision or paralysis.

Principia Biopharma, in South San Francisco, California, discovers and develops new therapies with a technology called tailored covalency. Compounds in the company’s portfolio are designed to bind to specific cysteine amino acids in their targets. These amino acids have a binding action different from most others, which allows the therapeutic payloads to break the bonds under certain conditions, making many of the company’s drugs highly targeted and reversible, with fewer adverse effects as a result.

The deal would give Sanofi, based in Paris, an exclusive worldwide license to Principia’s candidate code-named PRN2246, a small-molecule, oral drug that blocks Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, or BTK enzymes. These enzymes are active in signaling pathways affecting B-cells in the immune system, particularly signals promoting autoimmunity. PRN2246, says Principia, can also penetrate the blood-brain barrier, a key property for treating multiple sclerosis, and while it inhibits signals from BTK enzymes to B-cells, it does not deplete the supply of these cells in the immune system.

In addition, says the company, PRN2246 works in the peripheral nervous system, as well as the brain and spinal cord, making it a potential treatment for other neurological and inflammatory disorders. Principia is testing PRN2246 in an early stage clinical trial.

Under the agreement, Sanofi is providing Principia with a $40 million initial payment, with Principia eligible for future milestone payments of $765 million. While Sanofi will be responsible for development and commercialization of PRN2246, Principia has the option to provide financial support for late-stage clinical trials of the drug, in exchange for greater royalties or sharing in profits or losses in the U.S.

PRN2246 is expected to supplement Sanofi’s current presence in the market for multiple sclerosis drugs. Sanofi’s Genzyme division now offers Aubagio, a once-daily oral drug for relapsing multiple sclerosis, and Lemtrada, an infused drug for relapsing multiple sclerosis that does not respond to other treatments. Another therapy for multiple sclerosis code-named GLD52/GZ402668, a synthetic targeted antibody, is in an early-stage clinical trial.

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Hat tip: FirstWord Pharma

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Psychology In Law: How Important Is An Online Presence For A Modern Law Firm?

– Contributed content –

Lady Justice

(jessica45, Pixabay)

9 November 2017. Statistics show that legal cases are steadily on the rise in many different aspects of modern law. Whether it’s related to family disputes, business matters, or personal injuries doesn’t matter. There is no question that the modern law firms are blessed with a potentially very rewarding environment. Having said that, there is an increased level of competition too. This is why all companies in this field must utilize all weapons at their disposal.

Online resources are still a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of things, especially for a modern law firm. However, there’s no doubt that they have a role to play in the battle for clients. So, just how significant is that role? Let’s take a closer look.

Visibility and awareness

The internet has enabled people to become incredibly lazy, especially when it comes to finding professional help. There is no longer a need to walk or drive around the city looking at the different local businesses, so very few people do. Instead, they tend to do the bulk of their research online, even if it’s just to build a shortlist of attorney candidates.

As such, good online visibility can work wonders for the company’s overall presence. Most people will head to Google to search for local law firms. In addition to ensuring yours ranks well, you must make it visible on Maps. This will boost awareness while encouraging prospective clients to actually visit.

Map symbols

(Tumisu, Pixabay)

Extra tip: Rather than opting for generic law firm visibility, focus on your field of expertise. Whether yours is geared towards family law business issues or something else doesn’t matter. That specific direction can make all the difference.

First impressions

In truth, it may take some time for your law firm to win a new contract. Conversely, though, you could scupper any chances simply by making a bad first impression. In today’s digital world, not having an online presence can make the company seem small, amateurish, and even untrustworthy. Worse still, a negative appearance can cause even more damage.

A professional appearance is vital, and web design specifically for firms in the law arena is key. Not only does it set the right tone, but it also ensures that the site provides all the necessary info. When coupled with good social media, including images with the right dimensions, most clients respond well.

Extra tip: An educational and entertaining blog highlights an understanding of law practices. Moreover, it gives clients the feeling that they are getting free value before they’ve even picked a service. If nothing else, the display of passion is positive too.

Communication

Strong communication and transparency are at the core of all business matters, even medical ones. For a client of legal support, this can often be the most important aspect throughout the process. In today’s hectic world, fact-to-face interactions aren’t always possible. The internet provides a very good substitute, though, allowing for updates along every step of the journey.

Extended hand

(Pexels.com)

Live chat facilities and email streams can establish positive bonds before clients have even met an attorney in person. Likewise, a receptionist can generate a professional feeling and show that the company will be available at all times. Establishing the bond at the earliest stage possible will maximize conversion rates too.

Extra tip: Even if the firm is still in its infancy, it can provide winning client care. An automated call redirection service enables you to offer telephone support with a professional vibe. While not technically an online link, it’s still a form of tech communication.

Accuracy

Information about the firm will be available online, even if it isn’t from internal sources. The chances of that data being wrong are greatly increased when it comes from external platforms. As such, it makes sense for all law firms to upload this data themselves. Otherwise, the mismatch of info could have alarm bells ringing for prospective clients.

More worryingly, a business without an online status is more vulnerable to libellous info and fake negative comments. A strong web presence allows the firm to correct inaccuracies and challenge bad reviews. In turn, this can go a long way to ensuring clients see a fair reflection of the company and its services.

Extra tip: Accurate information doesn’t only fight the negativity. Firms with online authority can also get past clients to leave positive remarks to help spread the word. Power of recommendation is vital in such an important field like this.

Thumbs up

(Pix1861, Pixabay)

The verdict

An online presence may feel like an external luxury. In today’s climate, though, it is a necessity for all law firms. Without it, an ongoing struggle is inevitable.

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Cancer Center, Analytics Company Partner on Precision Care

Data and person graphic

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

9 November 2017. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York is collaborating with health care analytics company Cota Inc. to offer more precise care strategies for patients. Financial details of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.

Cota Inc., also in New York, offers its Cota Nodal Address system that generates a precise digital classification scheme for diseases, incorporating data from patients’ electronic clinical health records and genomic analysis to produce fine-grained disease categories. Each of these precise categories is then uniquely identified, making it possible to apply these disease groupings to collections of patients with similar characteristics. In this way, says the company, the Cota Nodal Address system acts as a bridge between precision medicine and population health.

The agreement calls for Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide de-identified clinical records for Cota’s Nodal Address or CNA System. The system will then produce data sets that combine clinical and genomic information for Memorial Sloan Kettering clinical staff, as well as support the cancer center’s research program. Cota and Memorial Sloan Kettering will also collaborate on advanced analytics to produce more precise and consistent classifications for cancer.

Paul Sabbatini, deputy physician-in-chief for clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering, says in a Cota statement that the collaboration, “will help us have a more robust understanding of the components that make up a patient’s diagnosis and care pathway. This organized and analyzed data will help our physicians practice more efficiently, optimizing the care a patient receives based on a variety of characteristics and ultimately can improve outcomes for all cancer patients as this knowledge is shared.”

The company’s president Scott Paddock adds, “the CNA system offers the tools for providers and payers to deliver value-based care, providing the data to avoid adverse variance — too much or too little care — thus optimizing clinical outcomes for each patient and reducing the total cost of care for the population served. Researchers can also leverage a deeper and richer set of real-world evidence to fuel more efficient and effective development of new cancer treatments.”

Cota engages in a number of collaborations for analytics solutions involving cancer. In April 2015, Science & Enterprise reported on a partnership between Cota and Caris Life Sciences in Texas to combine their data on the chemical makeup of cancer patients with clinical outcomes information to create better profiles of cancer tumors and identify more personalized therapies.

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