A computer model that can support virtual clinical trials in the field of immuno-inflammation is the goal of a new collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and US-based healthcare analytics company GNS Healthcare.
No financial terms were disclosed on the tie-up, under which GNS will take clinical and molecular information from a BMS clinical trial and will use its supercomputer-driven REFS (reverse-engineering and forward-simulation) platform to construct a comprehensive inflammation disease model “directly from the raw data”.
These patient data comprise genetic information, gene expression levels, specific blood markers and clinical outcomes that can help BMS to identify key molecular mechanisms and biomarkers in immuno-inflammation.
The resulting disease model will support virtual clinical trials that simulate the clinical impact of inhibiting various drug targets and help to predict novel molecular targets for combating immuno-inflammation, effective in specific types of patients, GNS noted.
“This is the first step in building a significantly advanced in silico research paradigm that may enable development of new therapies based directly on human data, and address the needs of patients with particular genetics and molecular phenotypes, ultimately enabling the optimisation of individualised patient outcomes,” commented Dr Iya Khalil, executive vice president and co-founder of GNS Healthcare.
Licensed to GNS from its parent company Via Science, the REFS platform consists of integrated machine-learning algorithms and software that extract ‘causal’ relationships from complex, multi-dimensional data.
GNS uses the technology to optimise patient treatments in partnership with health insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers and healthcare providers as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.