Massive Bio, IBM Watson, others team up with Biden Cancer Initiative for oncology work

ASCO 2019 sign outside McCormick Place
Nine healthcare organizations have joined the Biden Cancer Initiative to make clinical trials more user-friendly. (Amirah Al Idrus)

Trial "matchmaker" Massive Bio, IBM Watson and a host of other organizations have partnered with former Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Initiative to help improve patients’ access to and the work coming from cancer studies.

This will be done via the so-called Oncology Clinical Trial Information Commons (OCTIC), a shared platform where all information about clinical trials can be stored and accessed for patient matching and other data mining.

“The system will employ a single set of terms and rules, plus a user-friendly interface for biopharma companies to readily enter and update their trials,” the Initiative explains in a statement.

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In all, nine groups will join forces with the Biden Cancer Initiative to make clinical trial information available, which it hopes will pave the way for improved trial matching tech and services.

The platform, announced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology cancer conference in Chicago this week, includes founding members Massive Bio, BreastCancerTrials.org, Cancer Commons, Ciitizen, EmergingMed, GenomOncology, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, IBM Watson Health and Syapse.

“Massive Bio is looking forward to working toward a common goal of making it easier for patients across the country to have access to and knowledge of clinical trials,” said Selin Kurnaz, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Massive Bio.

“More specifically [on] how the information should be entered, stored and accessed for patient matching and other data mining in clinical trial protocols at ClinicalTrials.Gov.”

Massive Bio’s co-founder and chief medical adviser, Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla, M.D., M.S.Ed., adds: “Whether it is landing on Mars or finding cancer cures, whenever a noble cause is sought, collaboration is the only way to accomplish its goals. At Massive Bio we are very proud and excited to be part of this founding collaboration powered by the Clinical Trials Acceleration team from the Biden Cancer Initiative, which includes the most innovative and cutting-edge institutions and technology companies from around the U.S., working as a team to improve access to clinical trials for every patient, everywhere.

“By joining the OCTIC, we look forward to bringing our Artificial Intelligence enabled precision oncology expertise and patient-centered perspective to advance cancer research further and to forge a new era of making clinical trials accessible and readily available to all.”

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