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Case Study: Abcodia
Abcodia is a clinical stage company engaged in the commercial development of tests for the early detection of cancer. Their products are algorithms that are formulated by measuring changes of certain clinical variables over time, specific to an individual. Such clinical variables include ‘serum’ blood test results and other clinical factors such as age and genetic risk.
Underpinning its work, Abcodia maintain exclusive commercial access to a biobank of samples donated from over 200,000 individuals for studies towards the early detection and screening of cancer. They specialise in the design of longitudinal studies for the validation of biomarkers. The Company’s overall aim is to improve cancer survival rates through early detection.
Abcodia’s first product, the ROCA Test has been developed for the early detection of ovarian cancer and its prototype has been evaluated in several clinical trials including the UK Collaborative Trial for Ovarian Cancer Screening and the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study. Abcodia is also currently developing further tests for screenings of other cancers.
To enable Abcodia’s ROCA Test to be offered as part of a service to clinicians, the Company needed to demonstrate compliance with the relevant regulatory standards. The core software for the ROCA Test needed first to be developed under the specific quality standards for medical device software development. Moreover, in order to be able to manage clinical information required for the ROCA Test in a highly controlled and yet scalable manner, the company needed a software system to manage customer data, generate reports automatically and suggest actions dependent on the information that it receives. This could not be done manually, as this would lead to error and be time consuming.
Columbus worked with Abcodia to implement and tailor the Microsoft Dynamics 365 business application to harness the data that they needed from blood tests and then generate the right reports. This required a very close working relationship between Abcodia and Columbus as the workings of the algorithm had to be very well understood to deliver accurate test results.
To run the algorithm, specific clinical data has to be captured and processed including blood test results, age, time of test collection etc. All this data is obtained through a test request form, completed by a doctor during a consultation. This form is then sent to a third-party lab where the sample is processed and then all information is passed to Abcodia. At this time, the data is imported into Microsoft Dynamics 365 where the algorithm is then run. A risk score is generated and actions are suggested based on the reports that are produced.
“The system can process thousands of lab data files at once. It checks everything, marks duplicates, highlights if there is missing data or errors. We can run ROCA tests automatically, generating reports automatically, sending them to the right doctor with the next steps. The system saves us a lot of time”, said Julie Barnes, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Abcodia.
Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 application has streamlined processes for Abcodia and has given them the ability to run a higher volume of early detection tests to the standard that they require. Further benefits include:
- Increase in efficiency and accuracy
- Reduction in manual tasks, improving employee satisfaction
- Provides access to real-time data
- Enables fast feedback to doctors and patients with actionable reports
- Supports the overall business goal of improving cancer survival rates through early detection
Working with Columbus
“There is great expertise within Columbus which is why this project was successfully delivered on time and budget. We continue to receive great support from Columbus through ColumbusCare” said Julie Barnes, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Abcodia.