BMS joins with Voluntis to create cancer support app

Bristol-Myers Squibb has joined with digital therapeutics firm Voluntis to create an app that will support cancer patients.

In the last decade, BMS has emerged as a leader in the field of immuno-oncology, with its PD-1 class drug Opdivo (nivolumab) achieving blockbuster level sales.

But the market is highly competitive, and Merck & Co is winning the sales war with its rival drug Keytruda, which has gained an advantage after approval in the lucrative first-line lung cancer indication.

As it searches for ways to improve its offering to patients BMS will work with the French firm to create apps that help patients manage their symptoms and allow healthcare providers to remotely monitor them.

The goal is that the digital therapeutic, once researched and developed, would provide patients access to a mobile app that would support treatment and track symptoms.

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

The companies plan to investigate how the app could be used to enable patients to more effectively communicate with their health care providers, capture and track symptoms, and receive a personalised supportive care plan.

Paul von Autenried, chief information officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, said, “This collaboration with Voluntis is an example of our commitment to advance patient care with digital solutions. By developing new technology and patient-centered initiatives such as these, we hope to advance the standards of clinical practice.”

BMS is one of many companies focusing on improving care using digital technology and in 2018 struck a deal with tech firm Flatiron Health aiming to make cancer R&D more efficient and patient-focused.

Flatiron’s clinico-genomic database contains information on nearly 20,000 patients and is one of the largest and most comprehensive information repositories of its kind in oncology.

That deal was aimed at enabling BMS to speed up its research programmes and the pharma firm will be able to access evidence on the use of cancer medicines outside clinical trials.

 

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