by Dan Munro




Forbes Magazine

In the course of one short week, no less than 3 different models have emerged for sharing big data in the pharmaceutical industry.

The highest profile of these ‒ called Project Data Sphere (PDS here) ‒ was announced earlier today with the official opening of an online resource to share clinical trial data for use in cancer research.

The number of available data sets available today is fairly small (9), but the list of companies committed to providing data is impressive and includes AstraZeneca AZN -1.27%Bayer , Celgene CELG -5.01%, Janssen Research and Development (an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson JNJ -2.44%), Pfizer PFE -1.99%, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Sanofi SNY -2.28% U.S.

The primary objective, of course, is to accelerate drug discovery and development. From the website, the underlying objective is posed as a question this way:  “What if we could share, integrate and analyze our collective historical cancer research data in a single location?”

Formal registration for professional researchers will be required, but there will be no charge for accessing the research, uploading data sets and access will be available online globally.

Using clinical trial datasets collaboratively is a big leap forward in the cancer drug discovery process. 8.2 million people still die of cancer every year while the attrition rate for clinical testing of promising compounds can be as high as 95%.  This could become substantially lower once researchers in both academia and industry share clinical trial data. We’re excited to be working with world class partners like SAS, SAGE Bionetworks, academia, many in industry and importantly patient groups to bring this free resource to researchers globally. Charles Hugh-Jones ‒ Chief Medical Officer for North America, Sanofi



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