FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases hosted at RCSI, together with Singularity Alpha, Microsoft Ireland and Ergo have been successful in the latest round of Disruptive Technology Innovation Funding (DTIF)
The proposal, to develop a Blockchain & AI-Enabled Stratified Trial System (BESTS) was successful in the DTIF category “Innovation in Services and Business Processes” and was awarded €3.9m of funding.
Patient recruitment represents a substantial percentage of Phase III clinical trials’ overall costs, and 20-40% of clinical trials fail due to poor recruitment. To address this, the researchers will develop a system that uses blockchain and artificial intelligence to identify and match patients for trials, based on their clinical and genomic data.
Professor Gianpiero Cavalleri, Deputy Director of FutureNeuro and Professor of Human Genetics in the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences led the proposal, which was conceptualised by Professor Oran Rigby, founder of Singularity Alpha.
“in an era of increasing privacy concerns, I’m really excited by the potential of this DTIF platform to empower the individual in controlling their health data and engaging more actively in clinical research and trials”
Professor Gianpiero Cavalleri, Deputy Director of FutureNeuro
“Singularity Alpha are excited to partner with Futureneuro, Microsoft and Ergo to realise the shared vision of transforming patient engagement and data into new therapeutics and cures”
Professor Oran Rigby, founder of Singularity Alpha
Microsoft will provide Azure as the host for blockchain, and Ergo will provide solutions for connectivity between the data storage system, the blockchain network and relevant electronic health systems. Singularity Alpha will provide digital health technology and artificial intelligence for trial matching.
"We are delighted to be collaborating with FutureNeuro in this very important R&D project, we are excited at what we can collectively deliver impacting the lives of patients."
John Purdy, Ergo CEO
"Microsoft Ireland is delighted to be working with the FNC to build the next generation cloud platform to enhance patient outcomes. This is a grounding breaking initiative"
Dr. Kevin Marshall, Head of Education at Microsoft Ireland
The project will result in a GDPR-compliant environment that will allow patients to control their own health data and will improve the efficacy of clinical trial enrolment.
The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040 and is run by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with administrative support from Enterprise Ireland.