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Drawing on Patient Experience

Roche's Genentech has signed an agreement with PatientsLikeMe, a company that provides an online health information-sharing platform, to gain access to its data, MIT's Technology Review reports.

At PatientsLikeMe's website, patients with a range of conditions share information about their symptoms, treatments, and more, Tech Review says, adding that the largest networks are of patients with fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, though thousands of other diseases are also represented.

This five-year agreement gives Genentech the ability to use PatientsLikeMe’s Global Network Access service and access to de-identified data.

Co-founder Ben Heywood tells Tech Review that their hope is that information shared by people using their platform will uncover unmet patient needs.

“We envision a world where patient experience drives the way diseases are measured and medical advances are made," Jamie Heywood, a co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe, says in a statement.

Tech Review notes that financial details were not disclosed.