Boehringer Ingelheim has forged a partnership with Lifebit Biotech, a data analytics firm that harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) to cull usable information from biomedical data. The collaboration builds on Lifebit’s work with precision medicine initiatives such as Genomics England and the Hong Kong Genome Project; by bringing the researcher’s analysis and computation to where sensitive data resides, instead of moving the information itself around, Lifebit is striving to improve data connectivity.
“We consider this innovative and highly secure approach as the differentiation that gave BI the confidence to work with us. By providing BI with the infrastructure to access data from large external biobanks securely, we are providing BI with the tools to gain relevant insights for highly informed and accelerated drug development,” said Maria Chatzou Dunford, CEO of Lifebit.
Lifebit’s federated architecture, which underpins its CloudOS platform, will enable integration with population genomics and disease-focused cohorts. The system standardizes data sources and types, identifies data and services that could be moved to the cloud, and federates data connectivity with third parties.
Boehringer, which began working with Lifebit on a disease outbreak project last year, plans to use the platform to capture translational disease insights from external healthcare biobanks and accelerate the development of new medicines.
In the latest project, Boehringer will work with Lifebit to build a secure “dataland” for analytics and research. Dunford set out the benefits of the dataland.
“The key benefits of this secure dataland include providing Boehringer Ingelheim with faster, easier, and more flexible access to data and their insights. By leveraging the scalability of the cloud, this data ecosystem will support both current and future data capability needed across the organization to foster R&D innovation,” said Dunford.
Security is supported by Lifebit’s federated technology. Health data must be protected both when it is “in storage,” said Dunford, and when it is being analyzed. “Our federated technology facilitates this secure analysis,” said the Lifebit CEO.
News of the Boehringer deal comes months after London-based Lifebit raised $60m USD to expand globally and provide further support for new and existing partners.