Health News

Pharma company Transgene uses blockchain for clinical trials

clinical trials vaccine

Yesterday French pharmaceutical company Transgene announced that it incorporated the blockchain supply chain traceability platform Hypertrust X-Chain into its clinical trials project myvac.

Through myvac, Transgene is undertaking clinical trials to create individualized immunotherapy products. The program analyses cells from individuals and uses unique neoantigens (patient-specific mutations) to create a tailored vaccine that helps the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.

The process is delicate and requires immutable and tamperproof data from all areas of the supply chain. This is especially relevant as the supply chain involves numerous organizations.

In this vein, Hypertrust says that the existing systems it wants to replace are “restricted to the needle-to-needle process and do not provide the traceability beyond these steps to enable a full orchestration of the supply chain”.

X-Chain works by storing data about all stages of the supply chain on a blockchain. The system then shares the required aspects of this data with stakeholders through smart contracts.

For example, the data shared includes real-time information on the location and temperature of shipments. If the refrigeration fails during the transport of the cell samples or the vaccine, it could impact the experiment outcomes. Because the data is on blockchain, it’s effectively immutable, so the recording of the temperature lapse cannot be altered. And the same goes for every step in the process.

Other features of the platform that Hypertrust emphasized include an automated process that schedules shipping and sends notification updates to supply chain partners on what stage a project is at.

Both firms described this as the “first productive blockchain solution for clinical trials of personalized healthcare”. 

X-Chain is a product of Hypertrust Patient Data Care, a spin-off of the German supply chain specialist Camelot Management Consultants

Other blockchain clinical trials experiments include another French cancer research center, Gustave Roussy Institut. And blockchain startup LedgerDomain has pulled together the Clinical Supply Blockchain Working Group, which includes several major pharma companies such as Pfizer, Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Merck. 

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