Oracle announces new round of projects in IT, clinical trials

As projects generate larger quantities of more complex data, IT needs to becomes an increasingly important part of research of any kind, but particularly personalized medicine, in which patient records have to be analyzed in great depth and detail. Oracle Health Sciences Institute, partnering Oracle Labs ($ORCL), has announced three research projects with U.S. hospitals and institutes that are designed to bring IT innovation into biopharma research.

The project at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School is designed to create an IT framework that will extract data from electronic medical records and medical claims and analyze it. The aim is to create links between cause and clinical outcome, and to support researchers in confirming the effectiveness of treatments.

The Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD) at Critical Path Institute (C-Path) will look at using Oracle Health Sciences' Empirica Study On Demand to mine and analyze data from C-Path's Online Data Repository, a database with clinical trial data from more than 5,700 people with Alzheimer's disease. The aim of this study, which will also include input from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, is to develop new techniques that will help evaluate safety and efficacy of new drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

The project at the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland will develop a tool that can visualize the safety signals from clinical information in healthcare and claims data. This could help the analysis of adverse events in clinical trials.

"Oracle Health Sciences Institute, in partnership with Oracle Labs, is pleased to support esteemed research project teams as they seek new ways to apply information technology to advance the discovery and development of next-generation treatments and therapies," said Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Health Sciences.

While still at very early stages, all of these projects have the potential to make the analysis of clinical trial data more efficient. With clinical trials becoming longer and more costly each year as companies strive to meet the requirements of regulatory bodies, this can only be an advantage to cash-strapped biopharma companies trying to push drugs through to the market.

- read the press release