Flatiron Health, an oncology real-world data company, has continued its international expansion with a partnership with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), one of largest acute hospital trusts in Europe.
Over the past several years, Flatiron Health has built up an oncology-focused EHR network and a de-identified database from more than 280 U.S. academic and community cancer clinics in order to enable large-scale real-world research. Blythe Adamson, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior principal scientist at Flatiron, recently spoke with Healthcare Innovation about the company’s laser focus on oncology data curation and the huge difference machine learning models have made to the company’s curation and analytical capabilities.
Flatiron said that while its datasets developed in the United States have already helped expand treatment alternatives for people around the world with cancer, the agreement in the U.K. signals a new phase for the company as it follows its commitment to advancing research and improving care, treatment, and quality of life for patients around the globe.
“We have so much more to learn from real-world patient experiences in order to accelerate research and improve patient outcomes. So, alongside partners, regulators, and patient advocates–and with scalable and secure methods–Flatiron has developed a unique offering in the UK to translate data from routine clinical care into research-ready datasets," said Flatiron CEO Carolyn Starrett, M.B.A., in a statement. “We are excited to work with one of the most innovative and patient-centric medical institutions in the UK to add more patient experiences into the evidence that supports treatment, development, and regulatory decisions. We believe this is the best hope for truly transforming global cancer research and care.”
Founded in 2012, Flatiron says it curates high-quality, real-world evidence (RWE) derived from aggregated, de-identified patient information captured during routine care.
The new partnership, the first of its kind in the UK, enables Flatiron UK to bring together clinicians, epidemiologists, software engineers, and data scientists to turn unorganized cancer information — including clinical letters and reports — into high-quality, anonymized data that can be safely and securely used by researchers to find improvements for cancer treatment and care.
The UK announcement comes at a time of significant international expansion for Flatiron. In January 2022 the company announced its partnership with Japan’s National Cancer Center Hospital East (NCCHE). Flatiron said real-world data chronicling the experiences of NCCHE patients are being curated into top-quality de-identified datasets for use by NCCHE to support its research and treatment decisions, and by global researchers and regulatory decision-makers to help answer previously unanswerable questions.
Flatiron International subsidiaries in Japan, Germany, and the UK are partnering with hospitals and health networks in RWD collaborations through Flatiron's local teams and infrastructure. The goal is to produce more top-quality oncology datasets for use by Flatiron’s hospital and health network partners in research collaborations and under license — with specific terms and conditions — to biopharma companies, to accelerate cancer research.
“Each Flatiron International partnership is designed to help local healthcare providers and partners generate and utilize high-quality RWD to advance oncology research and care,” said Nathan Hubbard, Senior Vice President, Flatiron’s Head of Corporate Development and Flatiron International, in a statement. “Through this groundbreaking new agreement with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which has also been approved by the NHS Health Research Authority– the NHS’ ethics body–we know we’ll be able to illustrate the realization of our mission to bring Flatiron’s real-world data expertise into partnerships with hospitals and health networks in Europe and beyond.”