Merck KGaA and Palantir Technologies said they will form a joint venture to develop a collaborative technology platform to advance cancer research.

The joint venture, to be called Syntropy, will create a data integration platform designed to let users structure and analyze data from disparate sources. Merck KGaA and Palantir said they have signed a nonbinding term sheet to initiate creation of Syntropy, which is expected to be headquartered in Boston.

In January 2017, the two companies announced an earlier collaboration, which called for Palantir to apply their data analytics capabilities to Merck’s healthcare business sector.

Syntropy’s platform will be designed to facilitate secure, transparent sharing of data between participating researchers and institutions, enable researchers to glean research insights faster, and safeguard ownership of the data, the companies said.

The platform will be based on Palantir Foundry, which according to the companies is intended to enable users with varying technical ability but deep subject matter expertise to work meaningfully with data.

Data integration capabilities of Syntropy’s platform, according to the companies, will include:

  • Versioning semantics to keep data and business logic in sync
  • Dynamic, system-wide security and access controls
  • Branching of code, analyses, and reports
  • Microservice architecture with built-in coordination, security, and upgrades
  • Open APIs and data formats designed to interoperate with an organization’s data ecosystem
  • Flexible data protection frameworks designed to evolve with changes in regulations and industry best practices

“The success of science hinges on the ability to act on insights,” Stefan Oschmann, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Merck KGaA, said in a statement. “We expect Syntropy to facilitate collaboration within the global scientific community, in order to drive breakthrough innovation in cancer research.”

Added Alexander Karp, Palantir co-founder and CEO, “Syntropy aims to help researchers collaborate securely to realize the value of this data, driving discoveries that will deliver better treatments to patients faster.”

 

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