Celgene (CELG), Sage Bionetworks Enter Tech Collaboration Focused on Chronic Anemia

October 18, 2016 7:31 AM EDT

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Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq: CELG) and Sage Bionetworks announced a collaboration to develop an iPhone application utilizing the Apple ResearchKit framework to improve the understanding of the burden of disease for patients living with chronic anemia due to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or beta-thalassemia.

Smartphone-based apps like Sage Bionetworks’ mPower for Parkinson’s disease are increasingly being utilized as a tool by clinical study researchers to collect and analyze increasing volumes of patient-reported data in order to better capture and understand disease burden better and to improve therapeutic developments. Smartphone clinical study apps also enable the return communication of important study information to the patient participants.

“We stand at a point where technology is unlocking the ability to capture patient reported outcomes,” said Michael Pehl, President, Hematology & Oncology for Celgene. “Through our collaboration with Sage Bionetworks and the evolving capability of smartphones and wearables as robust data collection devices, we believe we will be able to provide important new insights for patients with MDS and beta-thalassemia. We are pleased to be working alongside Sage Bionetworks and the patient community on this important project.”

Celgene and Sage Bionetworks have chosen to address chronic anemia caused by myelodysplastic syndromes and beta-thalassemia. These diseases impose a great burden on affected individuals that is difficult to understand and quantify, and typically have clinical endpoints outside traditional measures. The collaboration seeks to move to a paradigm where this and other information like physiological testing are collected on a multi-dimensional and regular basis.

Already a leader in MDS, Celgene is currently developing three assets in the clinic across myelodysplastic syndromes and beta-thalassemia (CC-486, luspatercept, and enasidenib (AG-221/CC-90007)).

In addition to helping collect difficult to quantify data, the new mobile study will collect neurological assessments of patients using cognitive testing software from BrainBaseline, a leading technology for the self-assessment of cognitive performance. The app will also be an important channel for two-way communication and support for patients living with their disease – allowing them to understand their physical functioning and other symptoms of anemia.

Dr. Lara Mangravite, President of Sage Bionetworks stated, “We are thrilled to partner with Celgene to explore the use of sensor-based technologies to quantify the daily burden of disease in patients with chronic anemia. This is a first of its kind exploration from which we hope to gain insights that can be used to understand the impact of chronic anemia.”

Celgene and Sage Bionetworks are working closely with the MDS Foundation (www.mds-foundation.org) and Cooleys Anemia Foundation (www.thalassemai.org) in defining the right elements for capture in the application to ensure patient relevance and applicability.

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