Collaboration sets sights on acceleration of cystic fibrosis research

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(RyanJLane/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(RyanJLane/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags Cystic fibrosis Artificial intelligence Rare disease orphan disease respiratory health Patient centricity

Epistemic AI, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Boomer Esiason Foundation are working together to advance research into the rare disease.

Research platform provider Epistemic AI (EAI) has announced an initiative between its company, the Boomer Esiason Foundation, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to use advanced technology to augment and accelerate research into cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases. Under the leadership of Raouf Amin at the medical center, the Cincinnati Children’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine will harness the EAI artificial intelligence platform to ramp up its CF research efforts.

CF is an inherited condition that mainly impacts the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 35,000 children and adults in the US. People with CF spend a great deal of time completing a score of treatments and medications to maintain their health; thanks to excessive mucus buildup, a CF patient’s lungs often become infected with bacteria that can be life-threatening.

The foundation has a history of partnering with EAI, using AI to enhance its knowledge discovery. The EAI platform is designed to connect the dots across multiple disciplines in the life sciences and provides rapid insight into the underlying relationships between disease, diagnosis, treatment, and biological function.

Gunnar Esiason, executive vice president of strategy and advocacy for BEF, said, "By accelerating cystic fibrosis research, we come closer to finding a cure and treating patients currently affected by the disease. We believe that the use of AI can accelerate this process. Our venture philanthropy initiative at the Boomer Esiason Foundation demonstrates our long-term commitment to improve CF research, and we believe that the Epistemic AI platform can be a catalyst that helps many researchers and clinicians​.”

In 1993, Esiason – son of former NFL MVP quarterback Boomer Esiason – was diagnosed with CF. Boomer and his wife Cheryl founded the Boomer Esiason Foundation to raise funds and awareness for the cystic fibrosis community. The Foundation has raised more than $150m to date.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has been a long-standing partner of the Foundation, and we are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to the Hospital and CF Center by providing cutting-edge tools to advance their work​,” Esiason added.

The goal of this collaboration reportedly is to support clinical researchers in the Pulmonary Medicine Department of Cincinnati Children’s with advanced tools to access CF-related knowledge in basic research, clinical trials, and treatments, as well as existing CF research on rare genetic mutations and pathogens. Amin and his staff of more than 40 faculty members first witnessed a demonstration of the platform in the fall of 2021.

Stefano Pacifico, CEO and co-founder of Epistemic AI, said, “This confirms EAI’s commitment to support clinical research in cystic fibrosis. Our AI platform dramatically accelerates biomedical research, by integrating human intelligence with easily accessible yet complex technology, ultimately to benefit CF patien​ts.”

The ongoing partnership between BEF and EIA is an ongoing effort to improve access to information using AI for the CF community. The partnership enables EAI to collaborate with foundations, companies, and hospitals to foster a consortium of knowledge discoveries that will help to advance and expedite CF-related discoveries.

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