The £35 million scheme, involving scientists from the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, will pull together anonymous patient data to unlock valuable knowledge of life-threatening blood disorders.
Consisting of 51 partners from 11 European countries, the HARMONY project will focus on multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes and blood disorders in infants, children and adults.
The project will build on pre-existing, long-lasting collaborations between academics, clinicians, patient organisations and the pharmaceutical industry.
Faster care for patients
The research will further advance management of blood disorder diseases through a more efficient process of treatment development and rapid decision-making.
The expected outcome of the European collaboration will be better prognosis and quicker improved treatment decisions for patients.
Anthony Moorman, professor of genetic epidemiology at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University, is leading the childhood leukaemia part of the project.
He said: “The key aims of HARMONY are to create a framework for data sharing and promote an ethos of collaboration across the full spectrum of blood cancers.
“The fact that the scope of the project is broad and encompasses all blood cancers will help clinical research, something that would simply not be possible with the way things currently work.
“The main objectives of this project are to improve patient management and outcome by generating high-quality datasets, which can use sophisticated analytical methods to identify new treatment options.”
Bringing experts together
The project brings together key players in the clinical, academic, patient, Health Technology Assessment, regulatory, economical, ethical and pharmaceutical fields.
HARMONY will develop a data sharing platform that comprises of different layers of information, empowering experts to improve decision-making by providing a means for analysing complex data and identifying specific markers for effective therapies.
The five-year project will start this month (January, 2017) and is funded through the Innovative Medicines Initiative, Europe's largest public-private initiative that aims to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients.
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