DURHAM – Analysis of genetic information – the blueprint of life within our cells that we inherit from our parents – is transforming biotechnology and healthcare.

Driving these innovations is an entire industry of storing, managing, providing access to and analysis of big data sets to spur drug discovery and precise targeting of therapies to individual patients, known as precision medicine.

IQVIA logo.

North Carolina is poised to be a global leader in this unfolding field. For example, a Personalized Medicine: Research and Adoption forum will be held April 9 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. It’s hosted by the North Carolina Precision Health Collaborative (NCPHC) and the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC).

To add momentum, Durham-based Iqvia (NYSE: IQV) has launched a patented new technology platform for life science customers to access aggregated data at scale to conduct a wide range of research.

Called E360 Genomics, Iqvia’s techniques promise to allow for removal of phenotypic (observable), identifying information from genomic (the genetic mapping) data to improve research and healthcare delivery, while protecting patient privacy.

“Genomic data are critical to transforming clinical research and healthcare delivery,” said Jon Resnick, president of Real-World & Analytics Solutions at Iqvia. “This game-changing technology will be a significant catalyst for scientific discovery, and improved patient outcomes. It offers researchers more efficient and cost-effective access to genomic data while addressing privacy concerns.”

Managing big data while preserving patient privacy

According to a company release, potential uses of the platform include wide-ranging research, such as association studies of genomics and observable traits; comparative efficacy and safety trials; and burden-of-illness and discovery analytics using non-identified data in a secure environment that protects patients’ privacy.

“Working with genotypic-phenotypic data (genomic data linked to clinical data) presents a host of daunting issues, from the size and complexity of the data sets needed, to the technology and analytics necessary to ingest the data and draw reliable insights,” said Kenneth Park, vice president of Offering Development, in a company blog post.

“The most challenging has been the question of patient privacy. Up to now it has been near impossible to remove identifying information from genomic data and ensure that it remains non-identified for research and analysis.”

The E360 Genomics platform is powered by IQVIA CORE, a patented analytics technology driving what the company refers to as “human data science — a discipline that integrates the study of human science with breakthroughs in data science and technology.” This includes techniques such as machine learning and artificial intelligence of increasingly large and complex data sets, in combination with analysis and insights drawn by human science expertise.

NC Biotech Center grant supports precision health initiative

“Bringing together data science, deep healthcare expertise and innovative thinking to measure and improve human health decisions and outcomes. This integrated approach is going to help us understand what works and reimagine what is possible. Better patient outcomes. More efficient workflow …” according to corporate website information describing IQVIA CORE. Spokespeople for the company did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Iqvia was formed in 2016 through the $18 billion merger of IMS Health, the global data mining and analytics company, and Quintiles, the global manager of clinical research trials. It has more than 58,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries. It reported revenues of $7.8 billion in 2016. The company provides insights and execution capabilities to help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances to advance their path toward cures.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center


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