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Data-driven precision medicine ecosystem

Project overview

​Time span:  May 2017 -  December 2020 
Budget:  1166 k€
Funding:  Business Finland (46%), VTT (44%) and companies (10%) 

Objectives

The project aims to promote the development of a data-driven precision medicine ecosystem in Finland. The objective of the project is to:

  • Collect and disseminate information of on-going national and international activities
  • Assess precision medicine ecosystem needs and bottlenecks
  • Identify new business strategies and models
  • Provide recommendations to public bodies
  • Carrying out a biobank study to assess data exploitation opportunity and clinical relevance in a selected application area (pharmacogenomics of antithrombotic drugs)

Data-driven precision medicine follow-up

We will follow-up on-going activities in the data-driven precision medicine field. In particular, this includes follow-up of the FinnGen project and the national activities focused to promote secondary use of data. Most importantly, the activities targetting at a national Service Operator  and centralized biobank services will be followed up.  Examples of related international activities are NHS  & Genomics England (UK) and All of Us program (USA).

Assessment of  needs and bottlenecks

In phase 1 (1.5.2017-31.10.2018) we have performed a series of interviews to stakeholders with the objective of collecting views of companies concerning precision medicine. In particular, the interviews addressed exploitation of data resources and related business opportunities. The results have been reported in the phase 1 report.  One of the main observations have been the long and complicated processes for accessing data resources.   

The analysis will be updated during the rest of the project.  Especially the biobank study to be performed is expected to reveal challenges related to healthcare data exploitation. 

Identification of business strategies and models

In phase 1 we have performed an analysis of business opportunities in four areas covering new therapy development, health risk assessment and diagnostics, therapy selection and direct-to-consumer genomics. The analysis provides policies and strategies, which should be adopted to remove the main barriers. The results have been reported in the phase 1 report.

Recommendations to public bodies

We will build a system dynamics model for simulation of alternative development paths of the precision medicine ecosystem. The model will enable the analysis of the impact of various factors - such as time delays and costs - on data exploitation by companies. The simulation results are expected to increase understanding of the value of data resources for existing business and for new business opportunities. The results will help the decision makers and funding organisers to focus their efforts in boosting data exploitation and related business.

Biobank study

We will carry out a biobank study to collect evidence on the benefits on exploiting data resources and applying data-driven precision medicine in healthcare. As a pilot study case, the study will be focused in assessing the benefits of pharmacogenetic testing in the context of antithrombotic drug therapy. The research study will exploit FinnGen genome data combined with clinical data  and healthcare resource use information available from Finnish biobanks and hospital data lakes. In addition to scientific objectives, the study is expected to provide practical information about the functionality of data access processes of biobanks and to pinpoint related bottlenecks.