BC Platforms, Euformatics and Oncompass Medicine form a partnership to develop oncology NGS workflows for buyer consortium of seven major European hospitals

BC Platforms (BCP), a global leader in healthcare data management and analytics, Euformatics, headquartered in Finland, and Oncompass Medicine, headquartered in Hungary, have formed a partnership to bid for the development of standardized oncology workflows for a buyer consortium of seven leading hospitals* based in Central Europe and co-funded by the European Union Grant Agreement number 874719. The buyer consortium, represented by the Medical University Graz, evaluated all proposals, and awarded a contract to the consortium of BC Platforms, Euformatics and Oncompass Medicine.

Instand-NGS4P is a H2020 funded project for improving cancer patients’ benefit from Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) by developing an integrated and standardized NGS workflow and integrating information from cancer gene testing, pharmacogenetics testing and e-medication in proper presentation to medical doctors to support therapy decision at bedside. The project started in January 2020 and has now evolved to a point where suppliers for design of the standardized NGS workflows have been selected after an open market consultation and call for tenders. The program will run until May 2025 with a total pre-commercial procurement budget of approximately 8 million euros.

During the open market consultation in 2021 BC Platforms, Euformatics and Oncompass Medicine decided to join forces and respond to the tender together to leverage the strengths of each partner and build a strong proposal. The combination of existing IP and expertise in areas such as genomic data management, variant interpretation, NGS data quality control and precision oncology convinced the evaluators to award contracts to the partnership in both post-sequencing technical modules, namely bioinformatic analysis and integrated reporting.

Kurt Zatloukal, Professor of Pathology at the Medical University Graz comments: “Driven by patient and clinical needs, innovative NGS workflows from sample-pre-analytics to medical decision making will be developed in the program by the leading European SMEs in this domain. The joint proposal by BC Platforms, Euformatics and Oncompass Medicine was evaluated by leading experts and selected for funding. We look very much forward to a stimulating collaboration and a successful project.”

The supplier side of this contract is equally excited about the collaboration ahead.

Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, comments on the partnership and awarded contract: “We knew early on that this program provides the opportunity to define the clinical practices for oncology and precision medicine for years to come if we succeed in being part of it. We have the genomic data management platform on top of which the workflows can be designed. We have a long history of working with Euformatics so partnering with them for variant interpretation and quality control was natural and Oncompass Medicine contributes strongly for the e-medication part of the program.”

Tommi Kaasalainen, CEO of Euformatics, continues: “Instand-NGS4P program hits the sweet spot from our product development and expertise perspective. This is really a win-win since we can build on top of the existing omnomicsSUITE product family in close collaboration with leading European healthcare institutions. Having deployed several clinical solutions together with BC Platforms in North AmericaEurope and Asia, I am confident that the partnership will work well. Oncompass Medicine is a very welcome addition to the consortium, providing value beyond our capabilities.”

Prof. Dr. Istvan Petak, Founder and CEO of Oncompass Medicine, concludes: “Our breakthrough AI-powered oncology software can help oncologists find the right targeted therapy for every cancer patient based on the whole complex molecular profile of their tumor. This being the last step in the NGS workflow we wanted to partner with BC Platforms and Euformatics to cover the full post-sequencing bioinformatics and reporting with an integrated end-to-end solution that will be easy for the hospitals to deploy after the project is completed. Looking forward to pushing the envelope.”

The first phase of the project starts immediately and the results of the first phase will be delivered in mid August 2022. The purchasing consortium will then evaluate the output of all phase 1 contractors and select the best ones to continue to phase 2. Similarly after the second phase there will be a competitive selection to award the final third phase contracts to eventually deploy and integrate in 2025 two standardized NGS workflows as the result of the Instand-NGS4P program.

*The consortium is formed by hospitals from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, University of Florence and University of Milano-Bicocca in ItalyErasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel and St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute in Germany, and the Centre Léon Bérard in France.


BC Platforms Delivers on Global Real-World Data and Platform Access


BC Platforms (BCP), a global leader in healthcare data management and analytics, today announced a new clinical collaboration with the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) and reported on its outstanding 2021 performance. Its new data partnership with the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) will support the clinical translation of its basic research, including the potential to ensure improved and more personalized drug compatibility for patients. During 2021, BCP has successfully delivered significantly expanded global real-world data (RWD) and platform access in order to support precision medicine-led healthcare research and development (R&D). Leveraging its Data Network and the flagship BC|INSIGHT platform, which curates and analyses data in a secure format to advance personalized healthcare research, BCP has conducted impactful and transformational initiatives in key areas such as lung cancer, COVID-19, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and several others.

As part of the CCPM partnership, BCP’s flagship platform BC|GENOME and its Pharmacogenomic logic module has been integrated into CCPM’s EPIC clinical system’s Molecular Results Module, including the use of consenting patient data. Such a direct data integration between BC|GENOME and the EPIC clinical systems allows the latter to notify providers of any gene-drug conflicts at their point of care. This potentially reduces clinical prescription-related and/or administrative errors through a pharmacogenetics-driven, personalized medicine approach.

The global footprint of the BC Platforms Data network has grown rapidly to now include RWD equivalent to approximately 25 million patient lives, including longitudinal clinical data in addition to 500k patients’ genetic data, across 14 countries in Europe, North and South AmericaAsia and Africa. It is well positioned for further expansion, as organisations continue to recognise the value of rapid access to expertly curated and carefully governed patient data.

Tero Silvola, CEO of BCP, said: “While 2021 has continued to be influenced by the debilitating coronavirus pandemic, it has highlighted the urgent need for data digitalisation across the healthcare ecosystem. There has been an unprecedented global sense of commitment towards improved secure data sharing within federated networks, which can support the faster generation of translatable, actionable research insights. Our latest international partnership, with the Colorado Center for Personalised Medicine, could prove pivotal for flagging gene-drugs conflicts in clinical practice.”

As part of its remit to accelerate R&D, earlier this year BCP announced that BC | INSIGHT would be used as part of the major UK-based “iDx-LUNG” consortium to improve early lung cancer detection in a clinical trial involving over 15,000 people, led by the University of Leeds and the Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Southampton, working together with other healthcare, diagnostics and informatics companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Oncimmune, and Inivata. The study could contribute to methods of earlier cancer detection, which could translate to saving patient lives – a true example of personalized medicine having an immediate impact on individual patients, as well as offering enterprise benefits for large healthcare systems.

2021 has also been a milestone year from the perspective of securing multiple Pharma partnerships, to enable RWD access and help power R&D across multiple therapeutic areas and right across the R&D continuum – from discovery to post market approval phase data needs. These partners include seven top tier pharmaceutical companies.

BCP will continue expanding its healthcare footprint through the continued signing of global strategic partnerships. This has developed alongside a growing interest to gain more diverse, global genomic data access with a special focus in EuropeAsia and Africa. To that end BCP has been delivering platform-based support to regional genomics services such as the African Institute of Everyone Genome (AiEG) biobank, as well as a new partnership with Artisan Biomed in Africa as part of its remit to promote access to precision medicine around the world.

In 2022, BCP also joined forces with Japan’s Riken research institution and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), in an international research effort to support development of a precision prediction model to identify those most at risk from COVID-19 and improve society’s resilience to the coronavirus pandemic. The research focused on developing precise disease stratification algorithms using information geometry and artificial intelligence to determine which people are at most risk of mortality and hospitalisation from COVID-19.

The secondary use of RWD has delivered many benefits: making healthcare more cost and time effective, expanding knowledge about disease and treatments, and supporting public health goals, such as detecting emerging pandemics. But the increasingly widespread use of healthcare data raises important ethical questions. One of  BCP’s strategic partners, a US patient advocacy organization, Cure Duchenne – wanted to address some of these challenges by creating a participant-centric biobank able to integrate diverse data types in a single data warehouse. In 2021, CureDuchenne launched CureDuchenne Link™, the US’s first Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy data hub that directly connects data and biospecimens provided by the patient community with scientists and drug developers everywhere. Powered by BC|INSIGHT, it allows for automated ingestion and harmonization of clinical information and multiple data types including genomics and other omics data.

For its Healthcare clients, BCP has provided industry-leading interpretation services on genomics related insights, with 2021 being a significant year for the emergence of pharmacogenomics (PgX) in clinical practice. One of its major partnerships in this area is with Bumrungrad International Hospital, in Bangkok Thailand, one of the largest private hospitals in Southeast Asia and a world leader in healthcare delivery and pioneering clinical research. With the advances in genotyping technology and NGS, clinical laboratories are transitioning from single-gene tests to multi-gene panels for PGx, with SNV panel testing still being the most widely used technology.  Without expertise from BCP, SNV data interpretation could otherwise prove challenging.

Nino da Silva, Deputy Managing Director, BCP, said: “2021 has seen us scale at pace our vision to build the world’s leading analytics platform for healthcare and the life sciences industry. We are keen to facilitate access to our easy-to-use integrated solutions such as BC|INSIGHT and BC|GENOME, to provide secure, actionable data – partnering on an international level to seamlessly connect genomics healthcare and research. We have successfully transitioned from serving a mainly clinical academic customer base to an equally strong Life Science industry customer base, having signed multiple partnerships with top tier pharma companies. We encourage health systems to invest in consenting and data infrastructure as it provides strong foundations underpinning personalised medicine and ultimately improve outcomes for patients. Through our latest partnership with the Colorado Center for Personalised Medicine, we expect patient lives will be directly and positively impacted through BC|GENOME.”


BC Platforms Partners with TripleBlind to Power Federated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Data Privacy Approaches


BC Platforms (BCP), a global leader in healthcare data management, analytics and access, announced a new strategic partnership with US-based company TripleBlind  to help drive the development of privacy and intellectual property rights (IPR) preserving “federated AI” for its BCRQUEST.com Global Data Partner Network. The partnership will enhance BCP’s contribution to the Finnish-led PRIVASA (Privacy Preserving AI for Synthetic and Anonymous Health Data) consortium, which recently received EUR €6.5 million in funding by Business Finland to develop methods for the safe utilization of sensitive data.

The two-year PRIVASA project aims to promote access to, and sharing of, anonymised health data to accelerate product development by Finnish health technology companies operating in international markets. BCP will be contributing federated AI learning approaches to train machine learning algorithms without the need to exchange actual data. This method will enable BCP to address data governance and privacy requirements, as individual-level data never needs to leave its institution of origin. BCP’s partnership with TripleBlind will further improve this federated AI concept by ensuring IPR protection, encrypting analyses and results using its proprietary cryptographic technology.

Timo Kanninen, CSO and Founder of BC Platforms, said, “In partnership with TripleBlind, our new federated AI learning platform, which is based upon data from BCRQUEST’s global genomic and clinical database network, could significantly speed up research and development without compromising on patient privacy or IPR. AI has the potential to transform healthcare from a “one-size-fits-all” medicine approach to a personalised one, where individual treatment plans can be tailored for each patient, leading to an improved quality of care and significant cost savings.”

Riddhiman Das, CEO and Co-Founder of TripleBlind, said, “We are excited to be partnering with BCP, coupling our next-generation private data sharing  technology with BCRQUEST’s data network for use in research environments with strict regulatory standards including GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA. We look forward to enabling the network to share and collaborate with the vast amount of data that today is unaccessible and uncommercialized due to regulatory concerns. By improving privacy, we will enable the use of richer, more diverse third-party clinical and genomic datasets, facilitating the development of more accurate and less biased novel AI-based models.”

BC Platforms is one of the key corporate partners in the PRIVASA consortium, alongside the University of Turku, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) as well as a number of notable industry partners including Bayer, Fujitsu Finland, MVision, PerkinElmer and Polar Electro.