CEO Roundtable On Cancer Launches The Project Data Sphere Initiative, A New Data Sharing And Analytic Platform For Cancer Patient Benefit

Press Release | CEO Roundtable on Cancer , SAS, Sage Bionetworks | April 8, 2014

CARY, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 8, 2014--Project Data Sphere, LLC (PDS), an independent not-for-profit initiative of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer’s Life Sciences Consortium (LSC), announced today the launch of a new data sharing platform (, with the goal of advancing research to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families around the world. The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was established in 2001 with the mandate to bring bold and imaginative solutions to cancer care.

“Globally, more than 8.2 million lives are lost to cancer every year. Making a difference demands a paradigm shift. The Project Data Sphere initiative, with its broad access approach, will help define an additional path to accelerate cancer research,” said Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chair of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and Sanofi Chief Executive Officer.

This platform has been specifically designed to provide one place where the community can broadly share, integrate and analyze historical patient level, comparator arm data from academic and industry phase III cancer clinical trials.

“The Project Data Sphere platform will enable the research community to bring to light previously unrecognized insights buried within vast amounts of cancer clinical trial data,” said Howard Scher, MD, Chief of the Genitourinary Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The benefits of sharing comparator arm data could lead to a better understanding of disease progression and endpoints, and maximize a patient’s contribution beyond a single trial to the benefit of others.”

“Data sharing through initiatives such as the Project Data Sphere initiative has the potential to accelerate the speed with which clinical trials are conducted, improve the efficiency of trial designs and assist with the development of data standards applicable to all cancer types,” said Robert J. Hugin, member, CEO Roundtable on Cancer and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene.

Initial data sets have been provided by AstraZeneca, Bayer, Celgene, Janssen Research and Development, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Pfizer, and Sanofi US. PDS is currently working with these and other organizations, including the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (sponsored by the National Cancer Institute), Amgen, and Quintiles to provide additional cancer data sets.

In order to ensure that researchers can realize the full potential of this data, PDS teamed with CEO Roundtable member SAS Institute Inc. (SAS), a leader in data and health analytics, to provide state-of-the-art analytic tools available to registered users within the Project Data Sphere environment.

The Project Data Sphere initiative addressed prior obstacles to clinical trial data sharing and worked with leading legal and privacy experts, as well as clinicians, commercial institutions and patient representatives to build an optimal framework to share data responsibly.

“The true power of this platform will come from an ever-increasing volume of data and the continuing engagement of a diverse global community focused on finding solutions for cancer patients,” said Stephen Friend, MD, PhD, President, Sage Bionetworks. “One way that the Project Data Sphere initiative will leverage these data is through a series of focused research challenges.” Research challenges are designed to draw on the diversity of expertise within the community to develop innovative solutions to challenging questions.

The first of these planned challenges addresses prostate cancer and is in collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Sage Bionetworks, The Dream Project, academic experts from the University of North Carolina and the companies mentioned above who have provided de-identified, patient-level data.

For video and other resources, please visit

About the CEO Roundtable on Cancer

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001, when former President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded by creating and encouraging the widespread adoption of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ which calls for organizations to evaluate their health benefits and workplace culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas of health and wellness to address cancer in the workplace. The Life Sciences Consortium (LSC) ( was formed by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer as a means of bringing together leading oncology pharmaceutical/ biotechnology companies to enable a transformation in research and development activities. Their aim is to deliver more effective oncology therapies to patients faster by collaborating on solving issues common to all cancer companies engaged in drug discovery and development that cannot be solved by any single company alone. An earlier outcome of the LSC was the creation of the Standard Terms of Agreement for Research Trial (START) clauses in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute. The creation of these “common language” contract templates aims to shorten the contract negotiation time prior to opening a clinical research trial. For more information, please visit

About SAS

SAS is a leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 70,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know®.

About Sage Bionetworks

Sage Bionetworks ( is a nonprofit biomedical research organization, founded in 2009, with a vision to promote innovations in personalized medicine by enabling a community-based approach to scientific inquiries and discoveries. In pursuit of this Mission, Sage Bionetworks is working with others to assemble an information Commons for biomedicine that (1) is supported by an open compute space (Synapse:, (2) supports open research collaborations and innovative DREAM Challenges, and (3) empowers citizens and patients with the tools to partner with researchers and share their data through Sage’s BRIDGE platform ( in order to drive the research studies that matter most to them. Sage Bionetworks is located on the campus of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and is supported through a portfolio of philanthropic donations, competitive research grants, and commercial partnerships.

Project Data Sphere, LLC

Project Data Sphere, LLC (PDS), an independent, not-for-profit initiative of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer’s Life Sciences Consortium (LSC), operates the Project Data Sphere platform ( which provides one place where the research community can broadly share, integrate and analyze historical, patient-level cancer phase III comparator-arm data with the goal of advancing future research to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families around the world.

This initiative is dedicated to all patients who enroll in cancer clinical trials.

For more information:
Green Room Public Relations
Caren Begun, 856-424-2023
C: 201-396-8551
VP Media Relations
[email protected]