Novartis, IBM Watson Health partner on cognitive solution to help with outcomes-based care in advanced breast cancer

Novartis on Monday announced a "first-of-its-kind" collaboration with IBM Watson Health to explore the development of a cognitive solution that aims to provide improved insights on the expected outcomes of breast cancer treatment options. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Anil Jain, IBM Watson Health's chief medical informatics officer, noted that "as the industry shifts toward value-based care, it's critical for clinicians to understand the real-world outcomes of therapeutics on subsets of their patients." He added that "we are confident that this collaboration may provide transformative tools for clinicians and patients to make more informed treatment decisions."

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Novartis, which has four marketed products in breast cancer, including Kisqali (ribociclib), Afinitor (everolimus), Tykerb/Tyverb (lapatinib) and Femara (letrozole), noted it has the largest number of breast cancer compounds in development, including the alpha-specific PI3K inhibitor alpelisib. Under the collaboration, the Swiss drugmaker will share its expertise in breast cancer, while IBM Watson Health will contribute data analytics and machine learning capabilities to determine which combinations and sequences may lead to the best patient outcomes.

Bruno Strigini, CEO of Novartis Oncology, remarked that the companies "will use real-world breast cancer data and cognitive computing to identify solutions that may help physicians better understand which therapy may be best for which patients or advise clinical practice guidelines." He added "we hope this collaboration also uncovers care efficiencies that can be applied beyond breast cancer."   


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