A multi-year strategic partnership between Lifebit and Flatiron will support vital research and enable scientific discoveries, by enabling Flatiron researchers to access real-world data on cancer patients.

In order to overcome the issue of data sensitivity, which can slow the pace of research, Lifebit will be providing a federated Trusted Research Environment. This technology is already in use with other major initiatives including Genomics England and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

Last April, a review into health data led by Professor Ben Goldacre, recommended that Trusted Research Environments become the norm, and are used to help improve access to data and build trust with the public.

The Trusted Research Environment will bring the research and analysis to where the data resides, allowing researchers to securely access the data in situ. In addition, it will connect disparate datasets without the data being moved or copied. This will help speed up access to data, in turn accelerating research.

Data has the potential to advance research and innovation yet it is vital it demonstrates strict compliance with global data use regulations for patient data protection.

The platform has strict access controls which ensure the data is not shared or accessed without approval, and that it is not used for any other purpose than approved research.

Dr Arun Sujenthiran, UK clinical lead and senior medical director at Flatiron Health, said: “This partnership will continue to help improve treatment, care and quality of life of people with cancer.

“The advanced capabilities of Lifebit’s Trusted Research Environment, coupled with our focus to reimagine the infrastructure of cancer care, will enable us to unlock the potential of cancer data to support research into new therapies and help get them to patients more quickly.”

The new partnership will allow Flatiron and its partners to continue to support trustworthy and secure access to data, deliver research and innovation to develop new treatments for cancer and improve patient care and outcomes.

Dr Chiara Bacchelli, precision medicine and human genetics lead for Lifebit, said: “At Lifebit we are proud to announce this important partnership with Flatiron and to demonstrate our commitment to the safe and secure use of data for research, which we know is so important for building trust and confidence amongst patients.

“It is a privilege to enable researchers to more effectively collaborate across these rich datasets through the Lifebit platform and we are excited about the possible outcomes for cancer research.”