An agreement on the development of digital technologies in Hungary has been signed by Semmelweis University, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Oncompass Medicine. The collaboration not only helps innovation in the Hungarian health industry, but it also supports the university’s strategic endeavours concerning scientific research.

According to Dr. József Bódis, Secretary of State for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Training, the objective of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology is to support innovation in the Hungarian health industry, particularly in the fields of personalised diagnostics and therapy, digital health care and the medical application of artificial intelligence.

“The Ministry of Innovation is setting up science parks and knowledge parks in two locations in the capital city and in six other rural locations close to major knowledge centres and research universities with the collaboration of key industry and business players. One of these developments is connected to Semmelweis University.”, he said.

Based on the strategic cooperation, Semmelweis University and Oncompass Medicine will establish a joint institute within the Science Park realised with the involvement of Semmelweis University that could be the cradle of new and innovative methods in addition to healthcare, research and education.

“Semmelweis University is among the 500 best universities in the world, however, we aim to move forward and get better results in the fields of education, research and health care. By 2030 we want to be among the top 100 universities in the world. This is a huge challenge which cannot be achieved without the international recognition of translational research activities.”, said Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University.

Oncompass Medicine combines artificial intelligence and personalised medicine, which are two methods not yet widely used but may play a crucial role in the health care of the future. Semmelweis University has played a significant role in treating oncology patients and wants to provide its patients with the best services in the future as well. This agreement could help achieve these efforts.

“Based on our current knowledge, 6 million mutations of 600 genes can cause human tumours and the combination of 3-4 mutations is responsible for a human tumour. In order to provide personalised treatment to cancer patients, we need drugs that attack these genetic defects. To do this, we need to be able to tell which genetic defect is present in each individual patient and to decide which drug or a combination of drugs should be applied to a given genetic defect. Today, there are hundreds of targeted drugs for cancer treatment on the market and over a thousand more are being tested in clinical trials. The next challenge is to find a way to incorporate this vast amount of information into clinical practice.”, said Dr. István Peták, scientific director of Oncompass Medicine Zrt.

The medical software of Oncompass uses artificial intelligence to help physicians decide which therapy or drug may be the most effective. The founders of Oncompass and Dr. István Peták himself are former students of Semmelweis University and keep on working following the principles of Semmelweis Ignác: no patient should suffer or die if there is a known therapeutic option. The cooperation provides an opportunity to develop innovative technologies and products that are competitive on the global market and could contribute to the development of digital health care.

Ádám Szabó; MTI
Photo: Bettina Gaál – Semmelweis University; Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek