Case Study

Powering Insight into Technologies for Assisted Living with Motor Neurone Disease

By June 6, 2022 June 14th, 2022 No Comments

AMPLYFI’s AI platform enabled LifeArc, a medical research charity, to create a comprehensive assessment of the technology landscape for assisted living with Motor Neurone Disease. The research will influence their funding strategy to maximise quality of life improvements for those living with Motor Neurone Disease and their carers.

Customer profile

LifeArc is a medical-research charity (formerly MRC Technology) that transforms promising life-science ideas into medical advances that aim to change patients’ lives. LifeArc’s work is self-funded and, over the past 25 years, has resulted in impacts in fields as diverse as antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance, cancer treatment, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.

LifeArc seeks out early-stage discoveries and aims to develop them to a point at which they become attractive for others to invest in and progress through the innovation pipeline. One of the key ways LifeArc does this is by providing translational funding in the form of investments and philanthropic grants.

As an independent charity, LifeArc has greater freedom to invest in areas where others are reluctant to take risks. This means LifeArc can channel resources into areas where patient need is high and others may not be pursuing it.

Through its new strategy, “Making Life Science Life Changing”, LifeArc plans to commit up to £1.3 billion by 2030 to help patient-focused life sciences to flourish.

Challenge

The charity’s Opportunity Assessment Group (OAG) conducts due diligence into technologies, markets, and intellectual property to guide the charity’s work with the aim of identifying the most impactful opportunities to support. LifeArc identified Motor Neurone Disease (MND) as an area with high patient need and considered technologies as a key way that could address quality of life improvements for those living with MND and their carers.

For “MND Assisted Living Technologies” LifeArc required:

  • A high-level landscape comprehensively mapping relevant technologies;
  • An objective appraisal of the potential Quality-of-Life impact of each technology, its technology readiness level, and the barriers to adoption within MND;
  • A deep dive into selected technologies to:
  • Identify connected academic and commercial entities;
  • Identify key opinion leaders;
  • Assess the economics and funding landscape;
  • Assess the technology’s applicability to MND.

Solution

LifeArc engaged AMPLYFI’s professional-services team, powered by AMPLYFI’s insights automation platform – DeepInsight – to conduct research into “Technologies for Assisted Living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND)”. The aim was to identify the most impactful technologies, around which LifeArc can develop an investment and funding strategy.

Process: AMPLYFI’s DeepInsight platform was used to harvest the surface and deep web for content related to Assisted Living for Motor Neurone Disease. Approximately 300,000 articles, including patents, academic papers, and industry news, were identified and harvested into a LifeArc private library. A human analyst would require around 23 years to read this number of articles – AMPLYFI’s machine reading pipeline read and analysed the entire document corpus in under 5 minutes, making the results available instantly for further investigation.

Findings: AMPLYFI’s Research Team used the machine-analysis results to create an MND Technology Landscape of Unmet Need. The landscape categorises assisted-living technologies by high-level patient needs and provides a high-level view of the entire technology space.

A bibliometric model was developed to automatically assess the maturity of 17 different technologies in the context of MND, and to map this against current and future potential Quality-of-Life improvements.

Five candidate technologies (blue) were selected for technology deep dives, based on their potential to deliver significant Quality-of-Life improvements through further investment and funding. For each candidate technology, DeepInsight was used to gather and analyse the following information:

  • Technology summary (technical description and unmet need)
  • Strength of association to related medical conditions
  • Technology development status
  • Current and future potential quality of life and technology maturity
  • Media sentiment
  • Funding landscape
  • Route to market
  • Barriers to releasing value
  • MND-specific barriers or considerations
  • Leading connected commercial and academic organisations

Impact

In just 4 weeks, using AMPLYFI’s DeepInsight platform, LifeArc was able to create an objective and comprehensive assessment of the technology landscape for assisted living with Motor Neurone Disease, and to deep-dive into five candidate technology areas. From these, LifeArc has selected one area of interest to explore further as they build their funding strategy.

LifeArc’s evidence-based approach has enabled them to act with conviction and develop a funding strategy that they hope will maximise the positive impact and Quality-of-Life improvements for those living with Motor Neurone Disease and their carers.

“To be evidence-based in our decision making requires us to analyse vast amounts of unstructured data. AMPLYFI’s machine-driven technology has enabled us to achieve this breadth and depth of analysis which we would not have been able to do on our own.”

Paul Wright, LifeArc MND Translational Challenge Lead