Global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie and NorthWest EHealth have collaborated to generate real-world evidence to drive improvements in patient care.

Under the collaboration, the companies will use technology to interrogate data from NHS general practices to explore the underlying associations between autoimmune conditions.

AbbVie will make use of NorthWest EHealth’s FARSITE software as part of the agreement.

FARSITE is a cohort-finding tool that uses primary care data from NHS general practices.

The partners selected the North West as the ideal region for the project due to the diverse population in the Greater Manchester region.

Another factor is Greater Manchester’s open approach to partnership with industry as reflected by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

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AbbVie UK medical director Alice Butler said:  “Harnessing the power of NHS data sets offers a significant opportunity to expand our collective knowledge of disease and ultimately work together to raise standards of care.

“We hope that the partnership model we have developed with NorthWest EHealth could serve as a best practice exemplar for future industry-NHS collaborations.”

The project serves as a prime example of the collaboration approach envisaged by the UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.

This strategy stresses the prominence of collaboration to generate real-world data.

NorthWest EHealth Community Services head Julie Millar said: “We are delighted to collaborate with AbbVie.

“Using our FARSITE tool and expertise in interrogating health records, we hope to provide a valuable contribution to advancing scientific understanding of the associations between autoimmune conditions.”