A strategic cooperation agreement between Semmelweis University and Roche Hungary will bring significant advances in R&D activities, particularly in the fields of oncology, haematology, immunology, neurology and ophthalmology. The research projects can greatly contribute to the treatment of rare and serious diseases, as well as to the value-based development and digitization of the Hungarian healthcare system.

“Semmelweis University is the leading medical and health sciences institution in Hungary and in the region, where innovation for the benefit of our patients is a priority in our daily activities. Roche Hungary is a global healthcare company at the forefront of biotechnology and diagnostics, renowned for its innovative solutions. Therefore it is no coincidence that we have a long-standing partnership, which is further strengthened by this strategic agreement,” said Dr. Béla Merkely at the signing ceremony held at the university.

The Rector of Semmelweis University considers of utmost importance that all elements of the document are characterized by a patient-centered approach, aiming at efficient, high-quality care and improving the quality of life of patients.

The joint work will bring significant progress, particularly in the fields of oncology, haematology, immunology, neurology and ophthalmology. The number of clinical trials on innovative therapies could increase, with a particular focus on breast cancer, lung cancer and congenital muscular disorders,”

the rector said.

He added that increasing the volume of clinical trials will help ensure that patients get access to innovative therapies as soon as possible, and that researchers and doctors at the university are among the first to gain experience with new treatments.

One important area of clinical trials is breast cancer. More than 8,000 cases are diagnosed and more than 2,000 people die of the disease every year in Hungary, accounting for 6.7 percent of all cancer deaths. The collaboration between the University and Roche could bring significant advances in the treatment of breast cancer.

The Managing Director of Roche Hungary recalled that the company has conducted around 70 clinical trials in various disease groups in collaboration with the university over the past five years.

“To create a patient-centered and more sustainable healthcare system, leading-edge science and healthcare professionals need to work together, which is why we are building a partnership with Semmelweis University that will bring radical change for patients and healthcare providers. The aim of the agreement is to promote a personalized and value-based approach,” emphasized Raffaella Claudia Bondi.

The current strategic agreement also aims to improve the organization of healthcare and the use of digitization to enable doctors to make faster, better decisions based on all available data, taking into account the whole patient journey. This will allow more time for quality interactions between doctors and patients.

Tibor Kövesi, Head of the Strategic Development and Transformation at Roche Hungary, said that Semmelweis University is testing a web application under development within each of its disease groups to support the development and operation of a digital patient journey management system. The application has been developed by the Foundation for Hungarian Personalized Healthcare Development (SzEFA), established by Roche.

Its incorporation into the university’s hospital IT systems could significantly reduce administrative burdens, while in the medium term it could make patient journeys more transparent and shorten the time needed to make a diagnosis. The digital patient journey management element of the agreement will affect first the cardiovascular care of the oncology patients and will help them to improve both length and quality of life.

The collaboration will also include the creation of a cytostatic mixture infusion laboratory at Semmelweis University, supported by a digitized system, to supply personalized therapy for cancer patients.

The host of the event, Dr. Péter Ferdinandy, Vice-Rector for Science and Innovation, expressed his hope that the agreement is the beginning of a new chapter of fruitful cooperation. The document was signed by Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector and Dr. Lívia Pavlik, Chancellor of Semmelweis University, and by Raffaella Claudia Bondi and Tibor Kövesi on behalf of Roche Hungary Ltd.


Gábor Kiss

Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University