Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, has teamed with tech firm Culmination Bio to boost access to patient data and speed recruitment.
Under the agreement – financial terms of which were not provided - Merck will have access to both clinical and paired biospecimen data from several cohorts of various sizes and qualifications. Initially, the focus will be in the area of autoimmune disease.
The firms said the collaboration will leverage Culmination’s ability to build retrospective and prospective, de-identified multi-modal datasets in a disease-defined fashion.
Culmination CEO Lincoln Nadauld predicted the partnership would accelerate Merck’s clinical programs.
"Our collaboration with Merck represents a significant milestone in our mission to accelerate healthcare research. This agreement exemplifies the need for rapid access to high-quality longitudinal patient data spanning decades to inform clinical research.”
Utah-based company Culmination holds exclusive rights to a physical library and cloud-based data lake covering over 40 years of de-identified patient electronic health records and paired data.
According to the firm the repository of over five million de-identified patient samples is growing by over 300,000 samples a year, which helps companies with rapid research queries.
Culmination is a spinoff from Intermountain Health, a network of hospitals and clinics in the US. When the firms split last year, Culmination said its aim was to provide “customers with access to omics-level data and a powerful insights engine for medical research, health data, and healthcare services.
In May, Culmination announced a partnership to leverage samples and data from one of the largest biobanks in the US to fuel the development of Cofactor Genomic’s OncoPrism test in 11 cancers.
And in November, Culmination Bio announced an investment from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Amgen Ventures, which was used to further develop its database and expand its commercial growth with pharmaceutical partners.