The Arnold Building on the campus of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (Fred Hutch Photo)

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center is leveraging Amazon’s expertise in machine learning to collaborate on an early-stage clinical trial testing a cancer vaccine in patients with certain types of breast cancer or melanoma.

The trial has been posted on a government clinical trial database in October and will explore the safety of the vaccine, which will be personalized for patients with advanced melanoma or metastatic breast cancer that does not have the HER2 marker .

Business Intern reported for the first time during the trial on Monday, and Amazon and Fred Hutch verified the collaboration with GeekWire. Fred Hutch is leading the effort and Amazon is a partner.

Neither Amazon nor Fred Hutch said whether the trial was part of a larger collaboration.

“The Fred Hutch has been fortunate to have long-term partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft and other innovative technology companies,” said Matt McIlwain, managing director of Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group and a member of Fred Hutch’s advisory board. He served as Chairman of the Board of Fred Hutch until 2020.

Madrona CEO Matt McIlwain. (Madrone Photo)

Amazon’s partnership with Fred Hutch ranges from primary sponsorship of Fred Hutch’s Obliteride charity cycling event to collaborations on AWS services such as Medical understandinga natural language processing service on AWS suitable for extracting meaning from text in documents.

“Fred Hutch’s relationship with Amazon and AWS has deepened in recent years with the involvement of the board of directors of Mike Clayville and Sean Boyle as well as many other current and former Amazon employees,” McIlwain noted. Fred Hutch’s Board of Directors includes BoyleAmazon’s former vice president of finance, and his advisory board includes Clayvillepreviously Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations at Amazon Web Services.

Amazon has increased its involvement in healthcare in recent years. It acquired online pharmacy PillPack in 2019 and made a COVID-19 test available on its website during the pandemic. Amazon Care, the company’s primary care business, is one of the company’s top priorities, CEO Andy Jassy would have said at an Amazon meeting in March.

According to Business Insider, the cancer vaccine effort is led within Amazon by a cancer research team that reports to Robert Williams, Amazon’s vice president of devices. The effort was previously part of a secret research group, the Grand Challenge, Insider said.

Neither Fred Hutch nor Amazon would clarify their financial or intellectual property relationship. The vaccine trial will also assess anti-tumor response and survival as secondary outcome measures.

“This will be a long, multi-year process – if it progresses, we would be open to working with other healthcare and life sciences organizations that may also be interested in similar efforts,” said a gatekeeper. word of Amazon.

McIlwain said more collaborations are likely on deck to help Fred Hutch navigate large datasets.

“As Amazon becomes more involved in healthcare and Hutch continues to lead innovative cancer treatments and cures, partnerships such as the cancer vaccine clinical trials referenced this week are likely to grow. “McIlwain said.