Intel partners Teva to tackle Huntington disease
September 27, 2016
Intel is developing a wearable device and machine learning platform for tackling Huntington disease (HD). The work is part of a collaboration with Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical.
The platform will continuously monitor and analyse key symptoms that impact daily living, in an effort to understand disease progression and improve treatment evaluation.
The aim is to deploy this technology for the first time in a sub-study within the on-going Phase 2 Open-Pride HD study. As part of this, patients will be asked to use a smartphone and wear a smartwatch equipped with sensing technology that will continuously measure their general functioning and movement.
These data will be wirelessly streamed to a cloud-based platform specifically developed by Intel to analyse data from wearable devices. Proprietary algorithms will then translate these data, in near real time, into objective scores of motor symptom severity. The study will start towards the end of the year and will take place in centres in the USA and Canada.
This collaboration will leverage Intel's capabilities in analytics and algorithm development for movement detection, together with Teva's knowledge and experience in HD treatment and research. HD is a devastating illness that is desperate for treatment options, requiring innovative ways to assess and quantify symptoms continuously and remotely in a way that can provide meaningful and actionable feedback to doctors, patients and caregivers.
"The aim of this important project is to provide continuous objective data on the impact of Huntington disease on the patient, and, by extension, a clear understanding of the impact of treatment on patients' quality of life," said Michael Hayden, Teva’s chief scientific officer. "Current measurement of symptoms is largely based on observation when the patient sees the doctor. This technology now provides us with an opportunity to have continuous monitoring. This unique technology could complement future trials in HD."
This cloud-based software for analysing wearable device data is being developed using the open-source Intel Trusted Analytics Platform (Tap), a software platform optimised for performance and security to accelerate the creation of advanced analytics and machine learning. Initial development was done in collaboration with the Michael J Fox Foundation for use in Parkinson's disease research.
“Patients generate data based on their day-to-day experiences that can help in improving disease management, even something as simple as wearing a smartwatch can add useful insight,” said Jason Waxman, corporate vice president of Intel. “The complexity of analysing these data streams requires a platform for machine learning, to help drive the pharmaceutical industry towards faster, better clinical trials, potentially leading to new treatments for patients.”
Huntington disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by uncoordinated and uncontrollable movements, cognitive deterioration and behavioural and/or psychological problems. The classic onset of HD symptoms typically occurs in middle age, but the disease also manifests in children and the elderly. HD is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea. Disease progression is characterised by a gradual decline in motor control, cognition and mental stability and generally results in death within 15 to 25 years of clinical diagnosis.
HD is a genetic disease, passed from parent to child through a gene mutation. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene. If a child does not inherit the HD gene, he or she will not develop the disease and cannot pass it to subsequent generations. A person who inherits the HD gene will sooner or later develop the disease. According to the World Health Organisation, Huntington disease affects about five to seven people per 100,000 in Western countries.
Teva Pharmaceutical delivers patient-centric healthcare to millions of patients every day. Headquartered in Israel, Teva claims to be the world’s largest generic medicines producer, leveraging its portfolio of more than 1800 molecules to produce a wide range of generic products in nearly every therapeutic area.
In specialty medicines, Teva has a reputation for innovative treatments for disorders of the central nervous system, including pain, as well as a portfolio of respiratory products. The company integrates its generics and specialty capabilities in its global research and development division to create ways of addressing unmet patient needs by combining drug development capabilities with devices, services and technologies. Net revenues in 2015 amounted to $19.7bn.