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IMI2’s BD4BO Has the Power to Renew Hope and Transform Lives (Guest Blog)

Stephan 16-Mar-2015 (1)

Jointly funded to the tune of €3.276 billion – by the pharmaceutical industry and the EU – the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2) represents a haven of hope for Europe’s patient population.

It’s IMI’s impressive set-up that offers this great promise, embodied by its unique capability of harnessing a rich vein of expertise from, among others, industry, academia, SMEs and regulators. The move away from operating in silos and towards effective collaboration additionally gives the initiative access to databases, and the infrastructures of consortium partners – which allows it to establish systems based on best practices.

In essence, IMI2 represents a format much like that of its predecessor, the original IMI, but what really whets the palate this time around is the Big Data for Better Outcomes (BD4BO) programme. Its aim: to support the evolution towards outcomes-focused and sustainable healthcare systems, by exploiting the opportunities offered by big and deep data sources.

BD4BO represent a new, fresh approach to developing better-targeted therapies. It will be looking to: design sets of standard outcomes and demonstrate value; increase access to high quality outcomes data; use data to improve the value of healthcare delivery; and increase patient engagement through digital solutions. Essentially, it’s balancing industry and health system capabilities with patient needs.

More clearly, BD4BO should help to rationalise medicines, R&D processes and healthcare delivery by identifying the best treatment for a given patient population – and this, ultimately, means personalised healthcare. By identifying practices that deliver better outcomes it could help improve the value of healthcare delivery and through improving adherence to treatment, we’ll be looking at more engaged patients.

BD4BO has already kicked off with the launch of “Real World Outcomes Across the AD (Alzheimer’s disease) Spectrum (ROADS) to Better Care”, and a haematologic malignancies project, both in Call 6.

The World Alzheimer Report 2015, led by King’s College London notes that there are some 46.8 million people living with dementia – the disease group to which Alzheimer’s belongs – worldwide. This figure is predicted to double every 20 years, increasing to 74.7 million by 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050. It is further estimated that some 9.9 million new dementia cases emerge each year across the world – one new case every 3.2 seconds.

These alarming figures highlight the value of the ROADS project. Its aim is to provide an important “initial step” towards compiling AD-relevant real world data sets. These should help us answer questions across the entire spectrum of the disease. It will also give birth to a road map of aligned outcomes and methods toward building data systems that will be used to plan a 2nd phase project.

On the haemotologic malignancies front, the picture is uncomfortable at best. They account for a third of cancer cases in children and a third of all cancer deaths. Patients are also treated aggressively with multiple courses, despite which a large proportion of children and adults relapse and are refractory to treatments, with poor prognosis.

We could reach a very different scenario when the haemotologic malignancies project fulfills its potential. By then we’ll have built an understanding of how to measure outcomes for selected hematologic malignancies, including: non-Hodgkins lymphoma; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Acute myeloid leukemia; chronic lymphocytic leukemia; multiple myeloma; and myelodysplastic syndrome.

We should also have reached alignment on the relevance of different outcomes for different uses (reimbursement, value assessment, etc.) together with National Health Authorities, Health Technology Assessment Bodies (HTAs), regulatory agencies, payers, providers and patients. A data sharing platform will also give clinicians and policy stakeholders the power to improve decision making and provide appropriate treatments to patients with HM.

These are just two examples of how BD4BO project can transform the healthcare landscape – and this is just the start. We’re looking to launch at least another two projects by the end of this year.

About the author

After finishing his education as an organic chemist, Stephan Korte worked for four years for a start up in the US pesticides industry (Coulston Inc), two years in the synthesis development for insect repellents and two years in marketing and sales of consumer pesticides.

He joined Novartis in Basel in 1989 as a Senior Product Manager for anti-inflammatories and analgesics. From 1992 to 2002 he was general manager for the Novartis affiliates in the Czech/Slovak Republics, Finland and Belgium. During the period 2003 – 2014 he worked in Global Advocacy which included patient relations responsibilities up to 2013.

In November 2014, he assumed his current responsibility as the Head of the IMI Office supporting all Novartis engagements in Public Private Partnerships including IMI.

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