Novartis announces ground-breaking collaboration with IBM Watson Health on outcomes-based care in advanced breast cancer

  • Collaboration will use real-world patient data and cognitive computing with aim of improving outcomes in advanced breast cancer

  • Brings Novartis innovation and breast cancer expertise together with IBM Watson Health proficiency in data analytics and machine learning

  • Collaboration initiating in breast cancer given Novartis heritage and expertise; opportunity to expand to enhance outcomes for patients with other cancers

Basel, June 5, 2017 - Novartis today announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with IBM Watson Health on an initiative to optimize cancer care and improve patient outcomes. The two companies will collaborate to explore development of a cognitive solution that uses real-world data and advanced analytical techniques with the aim to provide better insights on the expected outcomes of breast cancer treatment options.

With one of the broadest portfolios and largest number of advanced breast cancer compounds in development, breast cancer is a priority oncology focus area for Novartis. Scientific understanding of advanced breast cancer is improving and the treatment landscape is expanding, but new therapies and real-world evidence can raise more questions around the optimal treatment plan for individual patients.

This collaboration will join Novartis expertise in breast cancer with IBM Watson Health skill in data analytics and machine learning to determine which combinations and sequences may lead to the best patient outcomes. The initiative primarily will use real-world patient data.

"Through this collaboration with IBM Watson Health, we will use real-world breast cancer data and cognitive computing to identify solutions that may help physicians better understand which therapy may be best for which patients or advise clinical practice guidelines, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and experiences," said Bruno Strigini, CEO, Novartis Oncology. "We hope this collaboration also uncovers care efficiencies that can be applied beyond breast cancer."   

"At Watson Health, we are tackling some of the world's greatest challenges at the nexus of science and data, and we are proud to work with Novartis to better individualize advanced breast cancer treatment approaches in an effort to enhance patient care," said Anil Jain, MD, chief medical informatics officer, IBM Watson Health. "As the industry shifts toward value-based care, it's critical for clinicians to understand the real-world outcomes of therapeutics on subsets of their patients, and our goal ultimately is to put those insights into oncologists' hands. With the deep expertise of Novartis in breast cancer, we are confident that this collaboration may provide transformative tools for clinicians and patients to make more informed treatment decisions."

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions.

For more than 25 years, Novartis has been at the forefront of driving scientific advancements for breast cancer patients. Novartis has four marketed products in breast cancer: Kisqali®* (ribociclib), Afinitor® (everolimus), Tykerb®/Tyverb® (lapatinib) and Femara® (letrozole). Novartis also has the largest number of breast cancer compounds in development, including BYL719 (alpelisib), an alpha-specific PI3K inhibitor; LSZ102, an oral SERD; LJM716, a fully human, anti-HER3 IgG1 antibody; and MCS110, a colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) inhibitor.

*Kisqali® is only commercially available in the United States.

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by words such as "will," "aim," "initiating," "opportunity," "initiative," "to explore," "expected," "in development," "priority," "focus area," "improving," "expanding," "can," "may," "goal," "hope," "in an effort to," "confident," or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals for BYL719, LSZ102, LJM716, MCS110, and the other compounds in development by Novartis for breast cancer, potential new indications, labeling or marketing approvals for Kisqali, Afinitor, Tykerb/Tyverb or Femara, or regarding potential future revenues from such compounds in development and marketed products, and potential future revenues from the collaboration with IBM Watson Health. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that BYL719, LSZ102, LJM716, MCS110, or any of the other compounds in development by Novartis for breast cancer will be submitted or approved for sale in any market, or at any particular time. Neither can there be any guarantee that the collaboration with IBM Watson Health will achieve any or all of its intended goals and objectives, or be commercially successful. Nor can there be any guarantee that Kisqali, Afinitor, Tykerb/Tyverb or Femara will be submitted or approved for sale, or for any additional indications or labeling, in any market, or at any particular time. Neither can there be any guarantee that any of BYL719, LSZ102, LJM716, MCS110, the other compounds in development by Novartis for breast cancer, Kisqali, Afinitor, Tykerb/Tyverb or Femara will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding such compounds in development and marketed products, and the collaboration with IBM Watson Health, could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the company's ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; general economic and industry conditions; global trends toward health care cost containment, including ongoing pricing and reimbursement pressures; safety, quality or manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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