Sema4, a patient-centered predictive health company, and the Mount Sinai Health System today announced the launch of a five-year collaborative study with Sanofi designed to provide new insights into the biological mechanisms and other factors implicated in asthma. The project will follow nearly 1,200 people with asthma and collect a range of data — from traditional clinical data to genomics, immunological, environmental, and sensor data from mobile devices — to enable sophisticated analysis and advanced network modeling of this complex disease.
Asthma is the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease, affecting more than 350 million people worldwide and causing approximately 400,000 deaths worldwide annually1. Evidence shows that the prevalence of asthma is increasing, and along with it both direct healthcare costs as well as indirect costs from loss of productivity and early disability.
"Despite advances in recent years, we still see many patients struggling with asthma, so there is still a tremendous need for innovation to reduce the burden of this disease," said Linda Rogers, MD, Associate Professor and Clinical Director of the Adult Asthma Program at the Mount Sinai - National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute. "With one of the largest asthma programs in the region, caring for patients across the spectrum of severity of asthma, the Mount Sinai - National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute will play a crucial role in this partnership to advance our understanding of asthma and develop personalized therapies for our patients."
The study will generate real-world data about patients through innovative molecular profiling of biological samples and digital monitoring of the environment. Clinical research teams from all three organizations will deploy advanced analytics on this information to better understand how the disease functions, what triggers asthma attacks, which patient segments are most likely to respond to certain therapies, why the disease affects people differently, and more. Researchers hope these insights will help pinpoint new therapeutic targets as well as more effective treatment recommendations for patients.
"Understanding how to develop new treatments for asthma starts with a better understanding of the disease," said Frank Nestle, Global Head of Immunology and Inflammation Research and Chief Scientific Officer, North America, at Sanofi. "Our goal is to develop a holistic view of each patient in the study, which is why we're excited to add digital technology to the traditional types of medical examinations conducted in this study. It's a new way to approach this enormous problem, connecting real world clinical and scientific data, that we hope will translate into new ways to treat asthma."
"Asthma is an incredibly complex condition associated with genetics, environmental factors, activity levels, the immune system and more," said Eric Schadt, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Sema4. "We believe the only way to fully understand asthma is by using sophisticated modeling tools to mine the rich, multi-dimensional data set we aim to generate in this study. This approach could reveal entirely new avenues for alleviating and more effectively treating asthma."
"Mount Sinai has incredible clinicians who care for a diverse patient population and is backed by world-class data science and multiscale biological modeling capabilities," said Andrew Kasarskis, PhD, Vice Chair, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences. "In this groundbreaking collaboration with Sanofi and Sema4, we are thrilled to leverage the Mount Sinai ecosystem and build on our experience with another immune condition, inflammatory bowel disease. Together, we will define asthma subtypes clinically, then understand the molecular basis of disease in each subtype in order to discover new therapies and better manage asthma in all our patients."
"We're pleased to partner with Sanofi and Sema4 on this exciting new study," said Erik Lium, PhD, Executive Vice President of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners. "We believe this collaboration may ultimately lead to the identification of novel targets and the development of groundbreaking therapies to benefit patients with asthma."