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case study

Scaling Research with Multi-Party Federation

Joint analysis of large-scale clinical genomic data between two of the UK’s leading research organisations, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and Genomics England

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Since the first sequencing of the human genome in 2003, the cost of sequencing has dramatically decreased, leading to an unprecedented amount of genomic data. Within this data lies untapped therapeutic potential that can improve our understanding of human disease.

Lifebit’s Platform and consulting solutions are making this data securely accessible and usable for life-saving research. Lifebit partners with private and public sectors to empower them to achieve their research goals.


How can we enable secure access to sensitive, clinical genomic data?

Working with sensitive health data has historically been challenging. To preserve patient privacy, much of the data has been securely stored within institutional siloed environments that are unavailable to researchers. Trusted Research Environments (TREs) are highly secure computing environments that are a solution to this problem - they provide remote access to health data for approved research by authorised users. Lifebit is deploying the TREs that house the clinical genomic data of NIHR Cambridge BRC, a research organisation, and Genomics England, a public-sector clinical research endeavor. However, NIHR Cambridge BRC and Genomics England wanted a way to effectively collaborate with each other.

“A challenge facing the precision medicine field lies in data governance.

It is critical to keep this sensitive health data safe. With strict national regulatory frameworks, there’s a real pressing need to leave data at rest and also to analyse it alongside international datasets and integrate it through federated links. Multi-party federation technology addresses this issue – keeping patients' data secure and privacy protected in our datasets, while enabling researchers from academia and pharma to analyse this data collaboratively in conjunction with their other complementary datasets. That’s a very powerful value proposition.”

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Parker Moss

Chief Commercial and Partnership Officer
Genomics England

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A consortium was formed between Lifebit and Partners as part of the Data and Analytics Research Environments UK (DARE UK) programme, which is funded by UK Research & Innovation and delivered in partnership with Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK). The consortium set out to build a federated ‘virtual’ link between the TREs of NIHR Cambridge BRC and Genomics England. With multi-party federation, distributed data sources could be accessed and utilised simultaneously without having to physically move the data.


Lifebit has brought their unique experience in federation to bridge the TREs of NIHR Cambridge BRC and Genomics England - what is believed to be the first demonstration of multi-party federation deployed in the UK between a higher education institute and public body. By enabling rapid access to data and secure data sharing, all at reduced costs, these impactful efforts are changing the nature of research collaboration globally for the better.

About Case Study

This work was funded by UK Research & Innovation Grant Number MC_PC_21026 as part of Phase 1 of the DARE UK (Data and Analytics Research Environments UK) programme, delivered in partnership with HDR UK and ADR UK. The DARE UK: ‘Multi-party trusted research environment federation consortium’ includes University of Cambridge, NIHR Cambridge BRC, Genomics England, Eastern AHSN, Cambridge University Health Partners, and Lifebit.

About Lifebit Biotech

To cure diseases, researchers need access to as much relevant biomedical data as possible, which are often inaccessible and unusable. Lifebit securely unlocks access to data-generated insights through our patented federated technology and AI-enabled Real World Evidence (RWE) analysis system, Lifebit REAL. Lifebit’s end-to-end solution suite already powers various national precision medicine programmes, while also informing pharma R&D strategy and innovation. Lifebit empowers customers across the public and private sectors to transform how they access and use sensitive biomedical data.

Contact: pr@lifebit.ai

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