H. Lundbeck is tapping into IBM Watson Health’s cognitive and knowledge-based health data analytics platform to speed the discovery and development of treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders, including schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. The collaboration aims to combine Lundbeck’s knowhow in the field of neurological and psychiatric disease therapy with the IBM Watson platform to derive information from clinical data through the Watson Health Cloud.

The collaboration will also enable Lundbeck to use IBM Watson technologies across its own clinical data and other data and harness the IBM Watson platform to enable a knowledge-driven approach that it maintains will support the identification of new drug targets and drug indications. The work will initially focus on deriving new understanding and potential treatments in the areas of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.

“We strive to develop treatments that affect the underlying biological mechanisms of psychiatric and neurological disorders rather than treating only symptoms,” commented Anders Gersel Pedersen, evp R&D at Lundbeck. “By combining our expertise in brain research with IBM’s cognitive computer technology, we expect to improve our foundation for this work, so we can develop new and improved treatments for the 425 million people who suffer from the psychiatric and neurological disorders which Lundbeck focuses on.” He added, “IBM can help create data-driven hypotheses based on Lundbeck’s questions, which can then be used in further research on fighting psychiatric and neurological disorders.”

The agreement comes less than 2 weeks after IBM Watson Health and Illumina announced a partnership to integrate Watson for Genomics into Illumina’s BaseSpace® next-generation sequencing (NGS) hub. In October 2016, IBM Watson Health and Teva expanded an existing e-health alliance to develop new indications for existing drugs. During the same month, IBM Watson and Quest Diagnostics launched a service for combining cognitive computing with genomic tumor sequencing, to help target cancer therapies.

Lundbeck develops drugs for psychiatric and neurological diseases, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, major depressive disorder, and epilepsy. The firm reported global revenues of DKK 11.469 billion ($1.654 billion) in the first 9 months of 2016, up 6% on the same period 2015. In October 2016, Lundbeck’s Carexiv™ (carbamazepine) injection was approved by FDA as a short-term replacement therapy for oral carbamazepine formulations in adults with certain seizure types. In September 2016, Lundbeck and partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical confirmed that their Alzheimer’s disease candidate idalopirdine failed to meet primary endpoints in its first Phase III study. Data from two additional Phase III studies are expected during Q1 2017.

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