Ipsen Pharmaceuticals and rare disease digital health specialists, Mendelian, has launched a new partnership to utilise Mendelian’s MendelScan software, a Class 1 Medical Device capable of aiding the rapid identification of people with rare diseases.
MendelScan software is designed to integrate into NHS systems and scan patients’ electronic health records. It will be used by GPs to alert them to risk factors, enabling faster referral and diagnosis.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr Myles Furnace, global digital health partnerships lead at Ipsen said: “Ipsen is delighted to be partnering with Mendelian to bring this pioneering technology forward for people affected by life altering, rare conditions. Every day that goes by without a diagnosis can cause immense distress for sufferers and the risk of potentially life-threatening complications. COVID-19 has made diagnosis even more challenging and new, innovative tools such as this are vital if we are going to make headway into addressing this issue. We’re thrilled to be leading the way alongside Mendelian with a tool that is fully integrated into the NHS clinical workflow and hope to demonstrate the value collaboration and digital health can have on improving the disease journey for people living with a rare disease.”
The Ipsen / Mendelian partnership will initially focus on two rare diseases: neuroendocrine cancers and rare bone disorders. For both conditions, time to diagnosis can be variable, the average time to diagnosis for a rare disease is five years in the UK, with some waiting over 30 years, and symptoms are often mistaken for other, less serious issues. In neuroendocrine cancers, for example, symptoms can include fatigue or feeling bloated and over half of patients are thought to be advised by their GP to simply come back if symptoms persist. According to a recent survey of over 600 neuroendocrine cancer patients, almost 30% saw their GP more than six times before being referred to secondary care and diagnosis often took years from initial onset of symptoms. COVID-19 has further exacerbated referral challenges, with a DATA-CAN report noting a 70% drop of urgent referrals during the pandemic as compared to prior to the pandemic.
Mendelian co-founder and CEO, Rudy Benfredj added: “Prompt diagnosis of rare diseases remains exceptionally challenging, with GPs expected to spot symptoms of conditions that many may never see in their entire careers. Digital technology has the potential to translate some of the analog knowledge that has for years been stored only in books and the brains of the very best specialist consultants, by digitalising this knowledge healthcare becomes more equitable and access to expertise is democratised – MendelScan, our core solution can do just that. With over 6000 rare diseases out there, we want to work with of industry partners who can provide additional expertise to compliment and grow the potential of MendelScan. Ipsen has exceptional heritage in this area and we are delighted to be taking this important step forward with them.”
In January 2021, the UK Government published its Rare Disease Framework, highlighting the need to improve speed of diagnosis in rare diseases as a priority. The aim of the partnership between Ipsen and Mendelian is to support healthcare professionals to deliver the vision and enable the NHS and HCPs to provide the right care as quickly as possible.
The original article can be found at: European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer