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ARMONK, NY and BRUSSELS - 16 May 2013: UCB and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the completion of the initial phase of a project designed to harness the power of analytics to help healthcare providers deliver more highly personalized care to people living with epilepsy. The milestone marks the critical first step in the path towards eventually harnessing the transformative power of cognitive computing capabilities, such as IBM Watson, for epilepsy care.
The goal of the project is to deliver an interactive system that translates massive amounts of patient data and scientific literature into insights that healthcare providers can consult at the point of care to inform their treatment decisions.
Together, UCB and IBM scientists are working to create the healthcare industry's most comprehensive corpus of data on epilepsy. Upon completion of this project, healthcare providers would be able to combine their own clinical patient assessment with the system's predictive analytics to determine the probability that specific approaches to care will be successful.
Dr. Iris Low-Friedrich , Executive Vice-President Global Projects and Development and Chief Medical Officer, UCB said: "UCB focuses on the creation of innovative networks because we recognize that delivering best-in-class solutions to patients requires collaboration with a diverse group of internal and external experts. We have partnered with IBM to explore this concept of streamlining large amounts of data into actionable approaches to epilepsy care."
Epilepsy, one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, afflicts approximately 65 million people worldwide1. A recent special issue of The Lancet2 highlighted the significant unmet medical needs in epilepsy and called on public health officials to treat this disease as a global health priority.
UCB and IBM anticipate that deeper insight into the epilepsy patient population could potentially provide millions of patients with more personalized care and ultimately improved outcomes. This approach will help seed the foundation for the potential to leverage cognitive computing, natural language processing, and machine learning capabilities to raise the standard of care in epilepsy.
"Technologies, like analytics and cognitive computing applied to big data, are revolutionizing the way we deliver and receive care," said Robert Merkel , Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Leader, IBM Global Business Services. "IBM is dedicating innovation and expertise to help UCB prove the predictive value of this technology that would arm physicians with information that will help them identify the best possible treatment options and improve quality of care for patients suffering from epilepsy."
As part of its open innovation model, UCB may look to collaborate with additional leaders in the epilepsy and healthcare technology communities to develop and broaden the reach of this project and improve long-term patient outcomes.
Phil Gattone , M.Ed., CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation and participant in the project's advisory board said, "The Epilepsy Foundation is very excited about the potential of this innovative approach for more personalized treatment management of epilepsy patients. Individuals fighting epilepsy and their care providers deserve the most current information to help them make informed decisions about their care in a timeframe that matters. This collaboration could benefit patients, their families and the healthcare system in a unique way."
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With 9,000 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.4 billion in 2012. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).
About UCB Research Collaborations
UCB has adopted an open innovation model in which internal and external experts collaborate to address unmet needs for people living with severe diseases of the immune system and the central nervous system. As part of its commitment to raising the standard of care for patients, UCB is building these long-term collaborations and super networks with leading researchers and institutions to use cutting-edge scientific research and technology to deliver unique patient solutions.
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UCB Forward-Looking Statement
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1. Epilepsy Foundation. About Epilepsy. Accessed 5/15/13.
2. The Lancet. "Wanted: a global campaign against epilepsy." The Lancet no. 380 (9848):1121.
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