AstraZeneca and Oncoshot establish strategic partnership to better streamline recruitment process for cancer clinical trials

Singapore’s cancer population may benefit from improved access to cutting-edge clinical trials through InSite Feasibility – Oncoshot’s new digital platform that facilitates the efficient completion of oncology feasibility studies supported by near real-time insights. Feasibility studies are typically conducted by clinical trial sponsors such as pharmaceutical companies before trial initiation to assess the suitability of specific trial sites.

Powered by Oncoshot’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled patient-to-trial matching technology, InSite Feasibility translates the de-identified data of Singapore’s cancer population into precise analytics that can help catalyse cancer research. The data, which is regularly updated, covers a significant number of newly diagnosed cancer patients in the country over two years.

The launch of the platform was marked by the signing of a commercial partnership agreement between AstraZeneca and Oncoshot, which allows AstraZeneca to harness InSite Feasibility to swiftly initiate trials that are most relevant to the cancer population in Singapore. AstraZeneca has been active in developing healthcare innovation partnerships and has launched health innovation hubs around the world, known as the A.Catalyst Network. Under this initiative, AstraZeneca has signed MoUs earlier in February 2020 with leading healthcare innovators and organisations, focusing on using AI, big data and genomics to help people with diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The collaboration with Oncoshot is yet another opportunity to support and contribute to Singapore’s innovation initiatives, such as the National AI Strategy, where they continue to leverage AI to drive better health outcomes and create new economic opportunities in Singapore.

Singapore is a leading cancer research hub within the Asia Pacific region, with more than 200 oncology clinical studies currently being conducted across the public-private continuum. However, many of these studies are hampered by inefficiency. According to a GlobalData report, only 15.3 per cent of oncology trials initiated globally in 2019 were completed, which was widely attributed to poor trial enrolment rates.

While conducting feasibility studies can help improve chances of successful enrolment, the existing paradigm for feasibility studies largely involves the use of historical data, which may be outdated and inaccurate. In an effort to mitigate this challenge and gain sharper insights into Singapore’s cancer population, Oncoshot works closely with leading public and private hospitals, where clinical trials are typically conducted, to match anonymised patient profiles to its database of cancer trials. Obtained in real time, the resulting analytics reveal whether a trial site has suitable patient populations for trials, according to highly specific criteria.

Aside from presenting such population-level insights, InSite Feasibility also facilitates seamless collaboration between trial sites and sponsors to complete feasibility studies within a 72-hour time frame. The company aims to streamline the process of assessing cancer trial feasibility within the local healthcare context.

“Today, novel cancer therapies are being developed at an unprecedented rate, and the only way to stay at the forefront of this fast-evolving field is by leveraging accurate data analytics to grow the clinical trial ecosystem. We’re excited to be able to spur innovative trials that will be highly beneficial to patients in Singapore,” said Dr Huren Sivaraj, CEO and co-founder of Oncoshot.

The partnership underscores AstraZeneca’s ongoing push to tap into the expertise of healthcare innovators to help those suffering from chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

“AstraZeneca continues to be committed in driving scientific advances through leveraging technology platforms such as InSite Feasibility to accelerate clinical trials and optimize patient enrolment. Our collaboration with Oncoshot will bring about speed, efficiency and potentially more trials for innovative medicines in Singapore in the future,” said Mr Vinod Narayanan, Country President of AstraZeneca Singapore.

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