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BMS partners with Voluntis to co-develop oncology digital therapeutics

Aims to create a mobile app to help patients self-manage their symptoms

Bristol-Myers Squibb

France-headquartered digital therapeutics company Voluntis has entered a collaboration with pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb to co-develop digital therapeutics for oncology.

The agreement will see the partner companies aim to create and investigate digital therapeutic solutions that will support cancer patients.

The deal is centred on Voluntis’ Theraxium Oncology software platform, which embeds specific modules to design and simulate algorithms.

Voluntis has leveraged these modules to design an off-the-shelf library of clinical algorithms, which can be further customised, with the ultimate aim of helping patients to self-manage their own symptoms.

This digital therapeutics system supports personalised symptom management at home thanks to automated recommendations made by the intelligent clinical algorithms.

The BMS partnership seeks to research and develop digital therapeutics based on the Theraxium platform, and ultimately provide patients with access to a mobile app that would support treatment and track symptoms.

The app will embed the evidence-based algorithms to provide patients with real-time recommendations for self-management of symptoms related to their therapy.

Although not stated in the news announcement, that could include BMS’ checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab), which is indicated for use across a number of cancer types.

In addition to the app development, the partner companies will investigate how it could help patients to more effectively communicate with their health care providers, capture and track symptoms and receive a personalised support care plan.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is a leading innovator in oncology. We are delighted to join forces with their talented teams to work on digital therapeutics that could have a significant impact on the treatment experience for patients worldwide,” said Pierre Leurent, CEO of Voluntis.

“This collaboration is a recognition of our unique know-how and technology, as well as an important opportunity to bring it to scale in oncology,” he added.

This is not Voluntis’ first deal with a big pharma company. In 2017, it expanded an alliance with Sanofi to develop a new mobile app for insulin patients.

However, in a recent strategic update Leurent said “with regard to diabetes, we are suspending investments linked to direct commercialisation in the US, as their profitability horizon proves to be too distant in view of the Group's objective of financial break-even.”

Sanofi recently announced it will halt research and development in diabetes to further its focus on other, more key growth areas.

Aside from Sanofi and BMS, Voluntis also has an agreement with Roche for a digital therapeutic for anticoagulation treatments, and a partnership with AstraZeneca for an app designed to aid patients with self-reporting and management of hypertension and diarrhoea associated with Lynparza treatment.

Adding to that list is also Novartis, who is collaborating with Voluntis on a digital therapeutic platform for breast cancer patients to manage their symptoms.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

4th March 2020

From: Research

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