Healthcare alliance for resourceful medicines offensive against neoplasms in hematology


Start Date
End Date
IMI2 - Call 6
Grant agreement number

Type of Action: 
RIA (Research and Innovation Action)

IMI Funding
20 200 000
EFPIA in kind
21 866 270
366 805
Total Cost
42 433 075


Blood cancers, or haematologic cancers (e.g. leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma), affect the production and function of blood cells and account for about one third of cancer cases in children and about one third of cancer deaths. As many blood cancers are rare, and healthcare practice varies across EU, a lack of data on relevant outcomes represents a challenge for clinicians, researchers, and decision-makers alike.

The HARMONY project aims to use ‘big data’ to deliver information that will help to improve the care of patients with these diseases. Specifically, the project will gather together, integrate and analyse anonymous patient data from a number of high quality sources. This will help the team to define clinical endpoints and outcomes for these diseases that are recognised by all key stakeholders.

Meanwhile the project’s data sharing platform will facilitate and improve decision making for policy makers and clinicians alike to help them to give the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. More broadly, the project will result in a pan-European network of stakeholders with expertise in this disease area.

The project is part of IMI’s Big Data for Better Outcomes programme, which aims to facilitate the use of diverse data sources to deliver results that reflect health outcomes of treatments that are meaningful for patients, clinicians, regulators, researchers, healthcare decision-makers, and others.

Achievements & News

Meet IMI’s big data projects at BioDataWorld 2019
November 2019

IMI’s big data projects will promote their activities at the BioDataWorld Congress 2019 in Basel, Switzerland, on 4-5 December 2019. The projects will share their approach to improving health outcomes### in the following sessions:

  • The pro’s and con’s of the different IMI projects approaches. IT and high-tech aspects (Roundtable 27, 4 December at 11:40)
  • The need for data communities in Europe, and why should you care? (Roundtable 25, 5 December at 11:40)
  • It is now or never! Connecting data communities with clinical research communities (Lunchtime panel, 5 December at 12:30)
  • Connecting the dots to benefit patients: This is how we do it, but we need you too! (IMI Showcase, 5 December at 15:10)

The projects participating in these sessions are: HARMONY (big data and blood cancers), EHDEN (health data and evidence network), BigData@Heart (big data and heart disease), PIONEER (big data and prostate cancer), and ROADMAP (big data and Alzheimer’s disease). All projects are part of IMI’s Big Data for Better Outcomes programme.

HARMONY blood cancer big data platform captures 45 000 cases
June 2019

IMI’s HARMONY project has captured data on 45 000 patients with blood cancers, meaning it is almost half way to achieving its goal of collecting data on at least 100 000 patients during the lifetime of the project. The data, which comes from multiple sources such as clinical trials and registries, is gathered in the project’s Big Data Platform. HARMONY researchers are already mining it to answer research questions such as whether one specific treatment improves outcomes in patients with aggressive multiple myeloma, and which subgroups of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes benefit from certain treatments. ‘Mining this unique Big Data Platform to address pressing research questions will give us better insight in the molecular landscape of blood cancers and the prognostic value of disease related variables, hence increasing our understanding of their pathophysiology. Making use of big data analytics in blood cancer research will lead us faster to identifying novel drug targets,’ says Bruno Costa of Celgene, representing the EFPIA members in HARMONY. ‘Ultimately, our goal is that, together, we can accelerate drug development, regulatory evaluation, access appraisal, and treatment strategies to improve the care of patients with these blood cancers.’

First blood cancer data transferred to HARMONY big data platform
April 2019

Partners in blood cancer alliance HARMONY have uploaded the first datasets into the HARMONY Big Data Platform. This is a major milestone for the large alliance that aims to improve the treatment of haematologic malignancies. This first batch of data focuses on acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a form of blood cancer that is most common in the over 75s. ###There are effective treatments for AML, but many elderly and weaker patients are not strong enough to tolerate the intensive chemotherapy regimens. Improved insight into the molecular basis of the disease is essential to develop better treatments for these patients. This requires data from thousands of patients. Therefore, HARMONY is bringing together datasets from all over Europe. The datasets that were recently uploaded into the Big Data Platform are from the German Austrian AML Study Group (AMLSG); the Haemato Oncology Foundation for Adults in the Netherlands (HOVON); and Novartis’s RATIFY trial. More HARMONY Partners are ready to transfer their data to the platform as well. ‘With such positive efforts in sharing aggregated data of hundreds of patients, the hope is that other data custodians across industry and academia will also be inspired to join the HARMONY Alliance’, said HARMONY project lead Mirko Vukcevic from Novartis. ‘In the future, the aspiration is that the HARMONY Alliance model will allow us to create a blueprint that can be applied to future projects in other disease areas, ultimately benefiting many more patients in Europe and well beyond.’ HARMONY is a unique network of more than 80 public-private organizations. It is part of IMI’s Big Data for Better Outcomes programme.

Participants Show participants on map

EFPIA companies
  • Abbvie Inc, North Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Amgen, Brussels, Belgium
  • Bayer Aktiengesellschaft, Leverkusen, Germany
  • Celgene Management SARL, Couvet, Switzerland
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Nv, Beerse, Belgium
  • Menarini Ricerche S.A, Pomezia, Italy
  • Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
  • Pfizer Limited, Sandwich, Kent , United Kingdom
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG, Glattpark-Opfikon (Zurich), Switzerland
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Agencia Espanola De Medicamentos Y Productos Sanitarios, Madrid, Spain
  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Universita Di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • Assistance Publique Hopitaux De Paris, Paris, France
  • Barts And The London Nhs Trust, London, United Kingdom
  • Bundesinstitut Fur Arzneimittel Und Medizinprodukte, Bonn, Germany
  • Charite - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • European Alliance for Personalised Medicine, Maribor, Slovenia
  • European Organisation For Research And Treatment Of Cancer Aisbl, Brussels, Belgium
  • European Research Initiative On Cll Ev, Köln, Germany
  • European Society For Blood And Marrow Transplantation, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Fondazione Italiana Sindromi Mielodisplastiche Ets, Alessandria, Italy
  • Fundacio Institut De Recerca Contra La Leucemia Josep Carreras, Barcelona, Spain
  • Fundacio Privada Institut D'Investigacio Oncologica De Vall-Hebron (Vhio), Barcelona, Spain
  • Fundacion Instituto De Estudios De Ciencias De La Salud De Castilla Y Leon, Soria, Spain
  • Fundacion Para La Investigacion Del Hospital Universitario La Fe De La Comunidad Valenciana, Valencia, Spain
  • Gpoh Gemeinnutzige GMBH, Hannover, Germany
  • Group For Research On Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Pierre-Bénite, France
  • Groupe Francophone Des Myelodysplasies, Paris, France
  • Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt Am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Leukanet Ev, Riemerling, Germany
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Munich, Germany
  • Masarykova univerzita, Brno, Czech Republic
  • National Institute For Health And Care Excellence, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu, Rome, Italy
  • Stichting Vumc, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Stiftung Eln Foundation, Weinheim, Germany
  • The Lymphoma Study Association, Pierre Benite, France
  • Universidad De Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Torino, Turin, Italy
  • Universitaet Ulm, Ulm, Germany
  • University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • University Of York, York, United Kingdom
  • University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • University of Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • Vib Vzw, Zwijnaarde - Gent, Belgium
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (<€500 m turnover)
  • European Hematology Association, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Gmv Soluciones Globales Internet Sau, Tres Cantos, Spain
  • Mll Munchner Leukamielabor GMBH, Munich, Germany
  • Synapse Research Management Partners SL, Barcelona, Spain
Third parties
  • Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare, Frascati, Italy
  • Lysarc, Pierre-Benite, France
Project leader
Mirko Vukcevic
Novartis Farma S.p.A.