Sema4, a patient-centered health intelligence company, today announced that it has entered into a research agreement with Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen) to optimize oncology clinical trials. Together, Sema4 and Janssen will utilize genomic testing and advanced data analytics to more efficiently and accurately identify patients diagnosed with cancer who may be candidates for oncology clinical trials.

Approximately 1.8 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the US in 2020, yet only a small percentage of adult patients participate in oncology clinical trials each year, despite clinical trials evaluating promising investigational therapies. Suboptimal patient recruitment is a significant rate-limiting factor in clinical trials that can lead to studies using excessive resources and time, and being underpowered or even abandoned.

To address this problem, Sema4 will provide Janssen access to two of the company’s key assets: industry-leading genomic testing and its proprietary Centrellis™ health intelligence platform. Centrellis utilizes automated natural language processing capabilities, complemented by PhD oncology curators, to extract critical information regarding patient characteristics from electronic medical record (EMR) data.

Sema4 will deploy its advanced analytics capabilities to apply Janssen’s clinical trial recruitment criteria to Sema4’s large pool of deidentified clinical and genomic patient data to evaluate if a patient may benefit from one of Janssen’s clinical trials.

“Sema4 is passionate about improving patient care through its work with patients, providers, and biopharmaceutical companies,” said Eric Schadt, PhD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sema4. “We are delighted to collaborate with Janssen to utilize our technology and digital expertise and market-leading science experience to potentially accelerate trial recruitment times, with the goal of more treatment options becoming available to patients more quickly.”

The collaboration with Janssen follows several other significant developments for Sema4 since the beginning of 2020. Earlier in the year, Sema4 released several software solutions to enable biopharmaceutical partners to rapidly find patients matching clinical trial recruitment criteria and effectively and efficiently design new clinical trials. The company also announced an alliance with artificial intelligence informatics company VieCure, provider of an oncology EMR and point-of-care decision support system, to further enable its national clinical trial support capabilities.

Additionally, Sema4 this year launched its Sema4 Signal™ Whole Exome/Transcriptome Sequencing (WES/WTS) offering, which is available to biopharmaceutical companies, and became the first commercial laboratory to be approved by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for WES/WTS for solid and hematologic malignancies utilizing tumor-normal analysis. NYSDOH review represents one of the most rigorous levels of validation nationally for such testing.