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Novartis, IBM partner to optimize cancer care and improve patient outcomes

Novartis has partnered with IBM Watson Health to explore the development of a cognitive solution, aimed at enhancing outcomes in advanced breast cancer.

The new cognitive solution will use real-world data and advanced analytical techniques to better understand the anticipated outcomes of several breast cancer treatments.

Novartis expertise in breast cancer, along with IBM Watson Health skill in data analytics and machine learning, will help to determine which combinations and sequences can boost the best patient outcomes.

Initially, the partnership will use real-world patient data to enhance cancer care and improve patient outcomes.

Watson is claimed to be the first commercially available cognitive computing capability, which can analyze high volumes of data and understand complex questions laid in natural language,a s well as proposes evidence-based answers.

Novartis currently markets four breast cancer products, including Kisqali (ribociclib), Afinitor (everolimus), Tykerb/Tyverb (lapatinib) and Femara (letrozole).

In addition, the firm is also involve in the development of multiple breast cancer compounds, including an alpha-specific PI3K inhibitor BYL719 (alpelisib), an oral SERD LSZ102 and others.

Novartis Oncology CEO Bruno Strigini said: "Through this collaboration with IBM Watson Health, we will use real-world breast cancer data and cognitive computing to identify solutions that may help physicians better understand which therapy may be best for which patients or advise clinical practice guidelines, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and experiences.”

Separately, Novartis has also entered into clinical research collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squib to assess potential treatments in metastatic colorectal cancer.

The partnership will study the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of Mekinist (trametinib) in combination with Opdivo (nivolumab) and Opdivo + Yervoy (ipilimumab) regimen as a potential treatment option for metastatic colorectal cancer in patients with microsatellite stable tumors where the tumors are proficient in mismatch repair (MSS mCRC pMMR).

Image: Novartis headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Photo: courtesy of Novartis AG.