Merck KGaA, Palantir form new JV aimed at breaking down cancer data silos

Merck KGaA MilliporeSigma US
Set to be based out of Boston, Syntropy hopes to offer a platform for sharing research data between siloes. (Merck KGaA)

Merck KGaA is launching a new joint venture with the tech firm Palantir, built around a collaboration platform for cancer research and discovery.

Titled Syntropy, the JV aims to provide tools for research institutions to trace the ownership of their work, in order to encourage the sharing of data between different silos.

“The success of science hinges on the ability to act on insights,” Merck CEO Stefan Oschmann said in a statement. “We expect Syntropy to facilitate collaboration within the global scientific community, in order to drive breakthrough innovation in cancer research.”

With plans to be based out of Boston, Syntropy will develop a data integration platform built on Palantir Foundry, allowing users to structure and analyze data from different sources while safeguarding ownership, the companies said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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The German Merck, known as MilliporeSigma in the U.S., previously teamed up with the billionaire Peter Thiel’s Palantir on big data projects in pharma R&D. Announced in January of last year, the two companies set out to better identify the cancer patients that would be the most responsive to particular medications.