The companies will aim to improve treatment for patients with prostate, breast and lung cancer

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) – a joint undertaking of the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) – has announced the launch of the public-private research programme OPTIMA (Optimal Treatment for Patients with Solid Tumours in Europe Through Artificial intelligence).

The €21.3m programme seeks to use AI to improve care for patients with prostate, breast and lung cancer. OPTIMA’s goal is to design, develop and deliver the first interoperable, GDPR-compliant real-world oncology data and evidence generation platform in Europe, to enable healthcare professionals to provide the most optimal personalised care for each patient with solid tumours in the three cancers.

Thirteen months after the start of the project, AstraZeneca and MUTABOR are now officially partners in the project. The coordinators of the project – Professor Dr James N’Dow from the European Association of Urology and Academic Urology Unit at the University of Aberdeen and Dr Hagen Krüger, senior medical director oncology, Pfizer Germany – have welcomed the addition of AstraZeneca and MUTABOR and the associated expansion of expertise within the project consortium.

Professor N’Dow, explained: “Together with AstraZeneca and MUTABOR, OPTIMA will build on the strong foundation of all partners to ensure the project is at the forefront of driving the development and implementation of individualised patient-centric oncological care for prostate, breast and lung cancer across Europe.

“All of the support and expertise to achieve this is gathered in OPTIMA, it is now time for us to work together in a highly collaborative atmosphere to achieve our ambitious objectives.”

AstraZeneca will focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for diseases with significant unmet clinical needs, including oncology. The company will also test the data platform for various types of users and gather adaptation recommendations to assist with developing the platform.

David Dellamonica, head of digital and innovation for AstraZeneca’s oncology business in Europe and Canada, reflected: “AstraZeneca is excited to become a member of the OPTIMA consortium. Gathering and – most crucially – learning from real-world patient data from across Europe is fundamental for achieving our shared ambition to revolutionise cancer care in Europe.

“By leveraging the latest technology to create tangible insights from this rich source of data, we will strengthen shared decision-making and establish standardised, evidence-based treatment protocols. Our ultimate aim is to give more people with cancer the chance to benefit from the latest medical and scientific innovations,” he added.