Pierre Fabre to launch blockchain patient engagement pilot


Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals has joined a blockchain consortium that allows patients to share real-time digital health data to inform late-stage clinical research.

The French pharma company will work with the Embleema Health Blockchain Consortium on a pilot project to see if the technology can help optimise its patient engagement efforts and more effectively deliver real-world evidence.

Frédéric Duchesne, Pierre Fabre’s CEO, said: “The emergence of digital health is forcing the life sciences industry to move away from the current linear process of drug approval, where regulators make decisions based on paper-based reports which synthesise data collected years before publication, to a new iterative model where digital health data is shared in real-time between patients, life sciences companies and regulators.

“This means making the most of new technologies, to secure patient engagement, guarantee data integrity and ensure the safe transmission of data from patients to life sciences companies and regulators. Blockchain is the key to achieving this vision, and we chose Embleema because its technology platform was the most advanced.”

Last month a survey found 60% of pharmaceutical and life science professionals are either using or experimenting with blockchain today, compared to 22% in 2017.

For its part, Pierre Fabre helped build Embleema’s decentralised blockchain network, hosting nodes to store and share data securely, and mining the network to guarantee the security of sensitive data.

Robert Chu, Embleema’s CEO and founder, said: “We are delighted to have Pierre Fabre join our Health Blockchain Consortium and partner with them to bring patient engagement and evidence generation to the next level using Blockchain technology.”

Chu, who was formerly senior VP of global technology solutions at IMS Health, founded Embleema in June 2017. Its blockchain network allows patients to own their health data and provide consent to share it with drug developers. In doing so the firm say it is “disrupting the slow, costly and opaque process” by which pharma currently collects health data on the efficacy of new drugs.