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Institut Curie and Biolog-id sign partnership agreement to develop a traceability system for cancer chemotherapy preparations

Institut Curie
06/04/2013
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Institut Curie and Biolog-id, a French SME which develops, manufactures and markets complete labeling and traceability solutions under some 20 international patents, today announce a partnership to develop an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) solution for use in tracking chemotherapy bags. The collaboration aims to make it possible to comprehensively track chemotherapy preparations through the whole process, from centralized pharmacy preparation through to administration to patients in health care settings.
Biolog-id

Within a multi-site hospital setting like the Institut Curie, the drug circuit is a structured process involving multiple functions.  The larger  the  number  of  steps  (prescribing,  preparing,  dispensing  and  administering),  clinical stakeholders  (doctors, pharmacists,  pharmacy  technicians  and  nurses)  and  information  and  product  flows,  the more  complex  the  process  and  the  greater  the  potential  for  error.  Administering  one  particular  patient's chemotherapy  preparation  to  another  patient may have  tragic  consequences,  but  it  is  incredibly  rare. A more common  occurrence,  however,  is  that  a  preparation  intended  for one  health  care  department  is  routed  to another. The considerable cost of some cancer drugs and the disruption to activity within the department mean that this can have significant consequences. Against a background of cost control and safety and quality in health care it is crucial for any technological response to reflect standard practice.

With  extensive  experience  in  the  field  of  blood  bag  traceability, Biolog-id  intends  to  apply  its  expertise  to  the monitoring and tracking of chemotherapy bags. Based on a label that incorporates an electronic RFID tag and is  affixed to every preparation, this innovation represents a technological breakthrough: tag information is updated automatically  at  different  stages  of  the  process (preparation,  transportation  and  administration).  Preparations therefore  become  ‘intelligent’,  offering  the  scope  for  storage  of  additional  information,  such  as  drug  dosage, patient  identity,  stages  in manufacture and  inspection and  routing. The  concept also aims  to improve  safety  in health care over time by guaranteeing complete traceability for all unit dose preparations dispensed for a named individual, including parenteral nutrition, dialysis bags and other injectable preparations.

Biolog-id was therefore looking for a hospital facility with an interest in developing this type of solution, and with the capacity for testing and allocating health care staff time to provide the clinical expertise required.

We were  interested  in  this  idea  right  from  the  start,”  said Marion  Lafay-Bourquin,  pharmacist,  and  Christian Magne,  manager  within  the  Pharmacy  department.  “Over  time  one  of  the  potential  applications  for  this technology is in tracking preparations shared by the Institut Curie's different hospital sites.” 

The project involves over a dozen people, with the initial aim of defining the technical specifications for Biolog-id's proposed traceability solution in conjunction with medical staff, then testing it in parallel with the existing system. Biolog-id's  goal  is  to  verify the  pilot  solution  in  place  at  the  Institut  Curie,  then  make  it  available  to  other institutions in France and worldwide. 

As an SME, it is not always easy to access academic expertise. However, to stay competitive, it is something we have to do,” said Jean-Claude Mongrenier, Chairman and CEO of Biolo-id. “There was an immediate rapport with Institut Curie, because  they,  like  us,  were  aiming  to  improve  the  safety  of  patient  care  and  reduce  costs.  In addition, they had a clear desire to help an SME and to support us in developing our plans, which we definitely appreciated.” 

We  are  delighted  to  be  able  to  contribute  to  the  development  of  a  French  SME  like  Biolog-id,”  said  Damien Salauze, Director of institute Carnot Curie Cancer “This is the essence of the Institut Carnot label which we were awarded by the French government in 2011 in recognition of our drive to provide concrete solutions for industry, and ultimately for patients.  Our  partnerships  usually  involve  a  significant  element  of  laboratory-based  research  work,  but  I  am delighted  that  our  expertise  in  hospital  settings  also  addresses  the  requirements  of  other  types  of  industrial partner.

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