MolecularHealth–Decision Making Software for Oncology–FDA Will Evaluate Software To Determine If It Will Allow the A
Posted Mar 08 2012 3:22am
MASE is the name of the software that has been under development for a few years and last month the company struck an agreement with the FDA to see if they can use the analytics with the decision making software to help predict safety issues that could arise from cancer drugs.
It is software as a service that is marketed to all types of healthcare industries such as payers hospitals and so on. Who doesn’t want to know what is theoretically the best drug to treat specific cancers and have the ability to predict safety issues for patients. Queries can be done either visually with statistics or use a molecular path. MASE can also be used to evaluate the safety of current drugs on the market.
FDA launched the Sentinel Initiative to electronically track adverse drug reactions and MolecularHealth seems to fit right into that project. You can read more about the collaboration at thepress release here. Back in 2010 the FDA gave a grant to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care for $72 million to begin studying the efforts of 28 healthcare companies and gather data from medical records, claims data and so on.
The key with the software is to combine the best of both clinical and molecular data with using genomic information to drill down on the best treatments and information about the cancer. If a patient has been sequenced, that information now can be used in the software for decision making processes. The company is financed by the CEI of SAP software BD
When executives at medical software developer MolecularHealth were working on a new product for oncologists, they consulted with a cancer center that was grappling with an emerging trend: About 100 patients a year were paying for their own genomes to be sequenced. Jeffrey Marrazzo, chief business officer of MolecularHealth, a Swiss-founded company that recently set up its commercial office in New York, won’t name the cancer center, but he recalls the conversation vividly. “These patients were walking into their oncologists, handing them disks containing their genomic data, and saying, ‘I don’t want you to treat me how you treat every other breast cancer or lung cancer patient—I want you to treat me based on what’s on this disk,’” Marrazzo, says. “I’m not going to tell you that tomorrow every patient is going to pay for their genome to be sequenced, but with price points falling, it opens up a new world in terms of patients willing to push the system.”
Towards that end, MolecularHealth is introducing what it calls a decision-support software platform for oncologists. Here’s how it works: A physician treating a patient who’s just been diagnosed with cancer can input everything that’s known about the case, from the exact tumor type, to the presence of disease-promoting proteins in the patient’s lab tests, to the patient’s entire genome, if he or she has it. If a patient has a specific genetic variant that may make him or her respond best to certain therapies, the software will pick up on that.
MolecularHealth has been fine-tuning its decision-support software with the help of the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. The hospital is using the platform in its newly formed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy, which has a mission of incorporating genetic data from individual patients into its treatment plans. “Physicians who work in oncology are beginning to understand that the ability to pull data from multiple sources and build alternative treatments from that is the wave of the future,” says Dan Fontaine, senior vice president for business affairs at MD Anderson. “We’re all enthusiastic about the idea that the next great breakthrough will be driven by the capabilities of computational science.”
MolecularHealth’s second software platform is called MASE, which stands for Molecular Analysis of Side Effects. MASE was designed to help drug developers and others who are concerned with drug safety to predict and ultimately avoid potential problems, such as dangerous drug interactions. The technology scans the biomedical literature and then pulls together information such as what targets a particular drug hits in the body, and which genes are involved in metabolizing it. On February 14, MolecularHealth announced it had struck a five-year agreement with the FDA to evaluate and refine MASE.
Marrazzo says MolecularHealth has started marketing MASE to pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and others who work in the field of drug-safety science.