Sensyne Health and Cambridge NHS trust sign strategic research agreement
Deal will focus on developing AI innovation for trust’s areas of expertise and specialism in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rare diseases
Sensyne Health has signed a five-year, non-exclusive strategic research agreement (SRA) with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) which will enable the ethical application of clinical AI research by analysing patient records to provide new understanding and treatments for various diseases.
The partnership will cover research across the trust’s areas of disease expertise and specialism in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rare diseases.
These are vital areas of research which CUH wants to support to provide equitable access to diagnosis and treatment for its patient population, while also helping address future national and international health challenges.
Cancer research will be a key focus of the partnership and Sensyne will use its expertise to analyse cancer patient pathways to reduce patient waiting times and improve patient care.
Additionally, under the SRA, Sensyne and CUH will focus on the following areas:
- Clinical decision tools to support patient care by developing and validating the effectiveness of new AI-enabled software tools to help clinicians analyse complex data sets to improve clinical decision making
- The use of AI for the analysis of retrospective clinical data and the generation of synthetic control arms to support clinical trials more effectively, accelerating the process of drug development for patients
- Drug discovery, by helping to discover new medicines aimed at treating rare as well as common diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancers
The CUH dataset covers three million unique patient records, with approximately one million patient contacts per year from a patient population of approximately five million people.
Sitting at the heart of Europe’s biggest life sciences campus, alongside some of the world’s most pre-eminent academics and industrial partners, we know the power of collaborations to bring about discoveries that will benefit us all
This new agreement takes the number of Sensyne’s SRAs with NHS trusts and US health systems to 16, and brings the combined total of de-identified patient data directly accessible for medical research to 25.5 million patients - 12.1million in the UK and 13.4 million patients in the US.
Dr Ashley Shaw, CUH medical director, said: “At CUH we use a wide range of research to constantly improve the lives of patients, both locally and around the world.
“Sitting at the heart of Europe’s biggest life sciences campus, alongside some of the world’s most pre-eminent academics and industrial partners, we know the power of collaborations to bring about discoveries that will benefit us all.
“By searching large de-identified datasets, machine learning tools can spot patterns which are otherwise indiscernible, shedding light on causes of disease and opening up new treatment opportunities.”
Lord Paul Drayson, chief executive of Sensyne Health, added: “CUH is recognised as a leader in the use of digital tools and health data to improve patient care and has built a large, high-quality data set as a result.
“The trust has invested heavily in its digital infrastructure and the curation of its data, which means we can start work immediately.
“Together we aim to use the power of ethical AI to make a real difference in finding new and better ways to treat cancer and other complex diseases.”
The new SRA provides non-exclusive access to three million longitudinal, de-identified patient records for analysis by Sensyne using its expertise in clinical AI.
Together we aim to use the power of ethical AI to make a real difference in finding new and better ways to treat cancer and other complex diseases
Research will be undertaken to the highest standards of information governance and data security in accordance with NHS principles, the UK Government Code of Practice , and data protection legislation.
And all data accessed by Sensyne will be de-identified by CUH beforehand and the provision of the data will operate under an agreed Data Processing Protocol under CUH governance oversight.
As a result of the partnership, the trust will receive 4,285,714 ordinary shares in Sensyne Health, representing 2.6% of the existing issued share capital.
This brings the total share ownership held by NHS trusts in Sensyne to 16.2%.
CUH will also receive from Sensyne an investment of up to £350,000 per year over the five-year term of the contract for specific ongoing investments in information technology to enable the ethical curation and analysis of de-identified data under the SRA.
And the Trust will receive a royalty on revenues that are generated by Sensyne from the research undertaken.
This money will be reinvested back into the NHS to improve patient care.