This company has been in the news for a couple years now and if you haven’t followed this company as far as development, politics, the FDA and more, it has a little bit of everything. Even with biotech drugs getting approved today, it’s all about the software that combines the efforts of the drug to bring reporting and other significant data together. The biotech drug from Dendreon, Provenge is used to extend life for those suffering with terminal prostate cancer and is the the first of it’s kind treatment to stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight cancer cells and it has minimal side effects.
The drug is under current review at the FDA after being turned down in 2007 as the data was not conclusive enough with trials and information submitted. My 1st is the deadline this year for the FDA to make a decision. The Intellivenge software system is part of that decision making process to support the efforts of the company. The patient needs to be tested and blood drawn at the doctor’s office and sent to Dendreon for incubation for a couple days. If you will, this is a classroom for the blood cells as they are matched with with a protein found on prostate cancer cells. After this process takes place, the blood cells are sent back to the doctor to where they are reinjected back into the patient in 3 shots during a month. This is not like taking a pill and forgetting about it, so this is why the software plays such an important role here, this is a brand new type of delivery system.
For security, each one is bar coded and for some reason or another here I’m thinking Microsoft Tags again as they are much more thorough than straight bar codes, and they can be updated too. When we have medicine personalized to this level we don’t want any mix ups. Dendreon wrote the propriety software in house. As we keep seeing the lines of both software and drugs/medical devices closely coming together, who knows we might need to merge the FDA with some Health IT portions of the government, as it’s complicated any more.
Tags for Use in Healthcare – Medical Stents, Medications - One Scan Away From Safety Information in Real Time
You can watch the video here that explains the process. You can see by watching the video the bar coding used, and not knowing what system is being used here and with any level of encryption it’s hard to comment further than the Microsoft Tags; however, there are encrypted Tags that can be used for PHRs, and that seems to me like a step in the right direction here. I worked in logistics for years and understand the process easily, logistics was one of the earlier uses of the technology. We need those tracking algorithms for sure!
Connecting HealthVault/Google Health and More to RazCode Encrypted Microsoft Tags – Automate Data Input
From the website: (from the CIO)
“The planning required to support the transportation and processing of a patient’s cells must be accurate, timely and precise. To accommodate this, Dendreon has developed a highly sophisticated and innovative software program called Intellivenge™. This technology helps coordinate and plan logistics for the entire treatment cycle for sipuleucel-T, from the initial cell collection to the delivery and infusion of cells back to the patient.
Intellivenge was designed to be the information resource linking the physician’s office, the apheresis center (where the patient’s cells are collected), the Dendreon manufacturing facility and all of the transportation services required to ensure that the cells received from each patient are processed within the required window of time. Using proprietary technology, Intellivenge coordinates the timing of all the resources each patient needs for the treatment cycle and tracks where a patient’s cells are at every stage of the processing cycle. Intellivenge also assists patients, physicians and their office staff with follow up appointment timing and scheduling.”
“The dedication of our research and development team has resulted in our lead product candidate, sipuleucel-T, rapidly approaching commercialization.
“Sipuleucel-T, an active cellular immunotherapy, is in late-stage development for the treatment of metastatic, androgen-independent prostate cancer.
Lapuleucel-T, an active cellular immunotherapy, is in development for breast, ovarian and colon cancer.
CEA, an active cellular immunotherapy, is in preclinical development for breast, lung and colon cancer.
CA-9, an active cellular immunotherapy, is in preclinical development for kidney, colon and cervical cancer.
TRPM8 (also known as TRPP8), a small molecule, is in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate it against multiple types of solid tumors.”
As you can see this is a whole new ball game for treatment, so with adding transportation and logistics into the picture due to the nature of how the therapy is generated, you need the software. As you can see from above, there are 4 more in the pipeline too. BD
If Dendreon makes any information technology screw-ups with its experimental treatment for prostate cancer, it could be a matter of life and death for patients. That’s why the Seattle-based biotech company has turned to a custom software vendor with a reputation for supporting the California 9-1-1 system for 12 years with zero downtime.
The Dendreon IT contract is held by Direct Technology, a Roseville, CA-based custom software developer with a 40-person office in Bellevue, WA. Direct Technology, formerly called DirectApps, has forged a close relationship with Dendreon over the past three years, under a contract that gives it full responsibility to support, operate, maintain, and enhance Intellivenge, the program that oversees administration of sipuleucel-T (Provenge). I heard about this from talking to Wud Pocinwong, a senior vice president with Direct Technology in Bellevue.