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Syapse, Merck Collaborate on Cancer Research Fueled by Real-World Data

NEW YORK – Syapse on Wednesday said Merck will use its real-world data to advance cancer research and improve patient care.

Within the collaboration, Merck will have access to Syapse's real-world data platform, which includes clinical, molecular, treatment, and outcomes data on cancer patients from numerous sources, including community health systems. The platform utilizes machine-learning algorithms and natural language processing to capture and analyze unstructured data in electronic health records. Syapse's pharmaceutical, research, and health system collaborators comprising its Learning Health Network then use the real-world data to improve understanding of treatment outcomes in patients who have similar clinical and molecular profiles.

"Industry collaborations that bring to bear expertise in real-world evidence, insights application, clinical care and life science innovation, such as the partnership between Merck and Syapse, will be pivotal in advancing cancer care overall," San Francisco-based Syapse said in a statement.

Syapse has cancer research collaborations with several drugmakers. The firm and Amgen in 2019 announced a partnership to use the Learning Health Network to identify candidates for Amgen-sponsored clinical trials and extend those studies to community settings. The same year, Pfizer began working with Syapse to collect real-world data on molecular testing and therapy use patterns and improve precision oncology delivery. Syapse had a similar precision oncology-focused collaboration with Roche, but the Swiss life sciences giant ended that partnership in December 2019, after acquiring cancer-focused real-world evidence company Flatiron Health.