One of the leading companies in the global pharmaceutical industry, Bayer China, has revealed it is working with VeChain, a pioneering public blockchain startup, to co-develop CSecure, a blockchain powered Clinical Trial Traceability Platform for drugs.

The partnership was disclosed to the public by Bayer China, following a public interview given to VCBeat, a Chinese healthcare-focused media company and website. The public interview has put VeChain to the forefront as a technical infrastructure leader in the increasingly digitized medical healthcare sector.

The interview also dives deep on how this partnership came about. In particular, it explained why Bayer China, a pharmaceutical giant with history in the Greater China region as early as the year 1882, chose to trust and partner with VeChain, a fledgling blockchain technology start-up that was only established less than 5 years ago. VeChain was specifically selected as the only company capable of helping Bayer to achieve its internal requirements for digitizing their core services and solving long-standing problems that exist in the healthcare and medical industry.

VeChain Becomes “Partner-for-Life” through Bayer’s G4A Program

The partnership between VeChain and Bayer China was officially sealed through VeChain’s outstanding victory in the 2019 Bayer China G4A Partnerships Program.

Bayer’s G4A program is historically a special partnership program for qualified companies to receive funding, guidance, mentorship, networking opportunities, as well as the potential for companies to directly partner with Bayer and to adopt the usage of their products and services. G4A Alumnis are granted “Partner-for-Life” status within the Bayer Group, earning them a competitive advantage unlike any other program in the world.

 

In 2019, the G4A Program focused on several “hard-to-solve” problems for Bayer, including a Digitized Clinical Trial Traceability.

In the initial stage of the application process, Bayer China requires all participants to work directly with the relevant Bayer departments responsible for the above solutions within 45 days. Within these 45 days, participants will get to know Bayer’s requirements, and participants will need to design a comprehensive solution to demonstrate their capabilities.

According to the head of the China G4A Program, “This initial stage will determine which participant has the capability to back their proposals, and will serve as a way to ensure that the solution designed is accurate for our requirements.”, said Sunny Ting.

The second stage will connect participants with top Bayer executives and management, and in this stage, more details will be ironed out and participants will start to develop a real application based on what was proposed and designed in the initial stage.

In the third stage, participants working with Bayer will need to turn their ideal solution to a feasible solution for final deployment; this means that cost, economies of scale, human resources, PR management, legal, and much more must be considered and approved.

More importantly, the solution developed must conform with Bayer’s internal milestones and planning. What this means is that the final solution deployed will be considered as an internal Bayer project. This stringent requirement is not easy to achieve even for well established companies and suppliers, as the healthcare industry is tightly regulated by health authorities worldwide.

As a result of the strict requirements, dozens of companies that participated in the 2019 G4A China Program have failed to achieve the requirements. Only one company met the requirements and developed a feasible solution – VeChain.

Csecure – VeChain ToolChain-powered Clinical Trial Traceability Platform

Through the 2019 G4A China Program, VeChain has demonstrated its capabilities to develop world-class solutions. Using VeChain ToolChain, a modular BaaS (Blockchain-As-A-Service) solution, the deployment of blockchain-powered applications can be introduced at lightning speed.

The result of ToolChain’s capabilities is Csecure, a clinical trial traceability platform that enables traceable, transparent and auditable product transactions among its suppliers, distributors, partners and end users, bridging trust between all stakeholders in a digital way. Data gathered from clinical trials are a critical part of the research, development and adoption process of any new medical treatment or intervention, such as novel vaccines, drugs, dietary choices, dietary supplements, and medical devices. These data are used for researchers and health authorities to properly ascertain the effectiveness and safety of the new interventions mentioned above. Any attempt to tamper these collected data would endanger and ruin the entire process of a new medical intervention or breakthrough.

By uploading authentic data in critical stages during the entire lifecycle of the medical products onto VeChainThor Blockchain, Csecure aims to provide a transparent, secured and credible process for medical products from production to trial uses, which enables a real-time value chain management among Bayer, hospitals and end consumers with great efficiency.

 

An example illustration of a blockchain-enabled medical supply chain (Khezr et al. 2019)

In Csecure, each medical product is binded with a unique QR code, which is registered as a unique VID (VeChain ID) on the VeChainThor Blockchain to carry all the valuable data relating to the product life cycle. For instance, in event of any discrepancies between the product’s digital profile and its real-life attributes or any misconduct during the transaction process, the unchangeable, time-stamped and role-based data on Csecure would make it possible to quickly define responsibility of related parties who should bear the consequences. By relying on blockchain-traced data, Csecure helps the pharmaceutical companies to significantly lower the potential risk management cost in the whole process.

“We’ve experienced the rigorousness of the medical industry by working with Bayer. The rigorousness during the product design process, also from the communication process with G4A, and the communication process with Bayer related business departments.  I feel Bayer’s professionalism and superb work ethic towards medicine and healthcare causes as a whole. ” Sunny Lu, the Co-Founder of VeChain stated.

Digitized Healthcare Management – A necessity to combat COVID19

Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the healthcare industry has been put in the front line of public concern. Consumers are becoming unprecedentedly discerning and value-conscious, with high expectations on the security and quality in the healthcare industry, which will arouse public awareness of medical safety as a long-term effect.

The inherent characteristics of blockchain technology, including distributed ledger, data immutability and time stamps can foster utmost trust through the transparent and traceable process of all medical products and records.

On blockchain’s rapid development over the past decade, Sunny Lu mentioned: “Blockchain development has been progressing rapidly in the recent few years. Blockchain at its core is an infrastructural technology, and its ability for shared, decentralized data transfer and sharing is viable across multiple different industries”

Bayer and VeChain’s Csecure Clinical Trial Traceability Platform perfectly demonstrates the advantage of integrating blockchain technology to solve long-standing problems in the healthcare industry. Just recently, VeChain and the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus also announced the successful deployment of an archival and digital passport solution for COVID19 patients. VeChain also powers the backend of DNV GL’s blockchain solutions through VeChain ToolChain, which coincides with DNV GL’s recent announcement of their blockchain-enabled infection risk management platform, MyCare.

It is without a doubt that blockchain will power the traceability systems of tomorrow, and VeChain is perfectly positioned as the leader and enabler of enterprises to adopt blockchain technology. With VeChain ToolChain, companies can customize their own needs and deploy blockchain solutions easily.

About CREAM:

CREAM, an important driving force behind VeChain’s ecosystem development, is a leading strategic advisory and investment firm and pioneering investment incubator using blockchain and the crypto-economy to enable the potential of startups and enterprises globally. CREAM provides a unique approach to blockchain and the creation of crypto-economy business models. As one of the first investment incubators to focus on enhancing business efficiency with blockchain, CREAM is driving disruption into the business world, delivering tangible results that are becoming foundational technologies of the future economy. CREAM is an international team, focused on delivering real world objectives, unlocking novel value and securing use cases and applications for the CREAMethod incubation ecosystem and VeChainThor network.

References

Khezr et. al 2019, ‘Blockchain Technology in Healthcare: A Comprehensive Review and Directions for Future Research’ [online], Applied Sciences, Available on ResearchGate.