The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) – a joint undertaking of the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) – has announced the launch of OPTIMA (Optimal Treatment for Patients with Solid Tumours in Europe Through Artificial intelligence), a € 21.3 million public-private research programme that will seek to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve care for patients with prostate, breast and lung cancer. Both the European Respiratory Society and European Lung Foundation are consortium members of this project, alongside 34 other partners.
OPTIMA’s goal is to design, develop and deliver the first interoperable, GDPR-compliant real-world oncology data and evidence generation platform in Europe, to potentially advance treatment for patients with solid tumours in the three cancers.
To achieve this ambitious goal, OPTIMA has brought together 36 partners from across 13 countries to:
- Establish a secure, large-scale evidence data platform for prostate, breast and lung cancer that includes real-world data from more than 200 million people. With a focus on patient privacy, the platform will be GDPR-compliant. The interoperable platform will host datasets, data analysis tools, federated learning tools, AI algorithms and electronic decision support tools.
- Drive new knowledge generation by developing advanced analytics and AI models to identify, prioritise and fill the main knowledge gaps in prostate, breast and lung cancer – and propose improved clinical guideline recommendations.
- Develop AI-based decision support tools that can be employed in electronic health records (EHRs). These tools will help clinicians make care decisions based on the leading clinical practice guidelines for prostate, breast and lung cancer.
These new tools and models could allow for the processing of high-dimensional data across sources and the use of deep learning to identify factors that enable individualised, real-time care decisions – ultimately informing personalised treatment for patients with solid tumours.
The OPTIMA consortium consists of 36 multidisciplinary private and public stakeholders in the clinical, academic, patient, regulatory, data sciences, legal and ethical and pharmaceutical fields – and is being jointly led by Prof. Dr James N’Dow from the European Association of Urology and Academic Urology Unit at the University of Aberdeen and Dr Hagen Krüger, Medical Director Oncology, Pfizer Germany.
Prof. Marc Humbert, ERS President: “The European Respiratory Society is proud and grateful to be part of this promising consortium and to contribute its multi-professional expertise and pan-European network in the field of lung cancer to this innovative project. For us, OPTIMA represents a unique opportunity to turn our vision ‘to harmonize and improve lung cancer care across European countries for the benefit of patients and caretakers’ into reality.”
Anne-Marie Baird, President of Lung Cancer Europe, and member of the ELF Lung Cancer Patient Advisory Board: “Artificial intelligence (AI) holds great promise to improve the lives of people impacted by cancer. Therefore, it is very exciting for the lung cancer community to see OPTIMA getting funded through IMI and ELF coordinating patient input in the project. We hope that OPTIMA will harness AI to advance clinical guidelines, which will result in better outcomes for people living with this disease.”
With its diverse multidisciplinary membership, the OPTIMA consortium is uniquely positioned to develop healthcare evidence-generation practices for the incorporation of real-world evidence into clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). If successful, OPTIMA may also help to establish best practice procedures for CPG development that incorporate analytics and evidence informed by AI models.
OPTIMA is at the forefront of healthcare innovation in Europe, building on other IMI projects (such as EHDEN, PIONEER and Harmony) that are supporting the European Health Data Space (EHDS) – a European Commission initiative to promote better exchange and access to different types of health data to support healthcare delivery and health research and policy. If it is successful, OPTIMA could not only contribute knowledge and data to the EHDS, but may also inform European policy regarding the clinical deployment of AI algorithms in healthcare.
OPTIMA is funded through the IMI2 Joint Undertaking and is listed under grant agreement No. 101034347. IMI2 receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic experts in order to boost pharmaceutical innovation in Europe.
The views communicated within are those of OPTIMA. Neither the IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.