Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and IBM said today they will expand their global e-health alliance with new projects designed to develop new uses for existing drugs and advance chronic disease management.
The value of the expanded collaboration was not disclosed.
IBM and Teva did say, however, that they have signed a 3-year research collaboration agreement, under which they will develop cognitive technologies to design, build, and deploy a systematic process for drug repurposing.
That process, Teva and IBM said, will combine human insight with machine-learning algorithms and real-world evidence accessed through the IBM Watson Health Cloud—for which Teva serves as a foundational life sciences partner.
According to IBM and Teva, IBM Watson Health Cloud technology will be applied on a scale massive enough to reveal previously hidden correlations between a drug molecule and health conditions.
The companies also said respiratory and central nervous system diseases will be the first targets for a chronic disease management initiative.
The initiative will combine cloud-connected drug delivery and app technology with more than six billion data points processed by Watson to provide actionable insights. Using Watson’s cognitive processing capabilities and newly developed algorithms, the data is expected to be used toward calculating the prospective risk of health events, such as an asthma attack, with Teva delivering that information directly to healthcare providers and their patients through an app or other software interface.
IBM and Teva said they aim to enable patients, healthcare providers, and payers to better understand and control chronic conditions, as well as track treatments.
The chronic disease management project is the first to integrate data from IBM-owned The Weather Company into the Watson Health Cloud, the companies added.
“We have the opportunity to lead change in the pharmaceutical industry,” Professor Yitzhak Peterburg, Teva’s Chairman, said in a statement. “By combining the skills of our partners, such as Watson's cognitive computing capabilities, with Teva's pharmaceutical expertise, we can create novel solutions and deliver real value to people.”