Home / Tech / Oracle tells employees it donated a COVID-19 'therapeutic learning system' that can help speed up the development of a treatment to the US government (ORCL)

Oracle tells employees it donated a COVID-19 'therapeutic learning system' that can help speed up the development of a treatment to the US government (ORCL)

Larry Ellison and Safra Catz

  • Oracle founder Larry Ellison and CEO Safra Catz told employees Tuesday that the tech giant has set up cloud tools to help the US government find a COVID-19 cure faster, according to a copy of an internal memo seen by Business Insider.
  • Oracle has created applications to help scientists run clinical trials on possible cures, including antimalarial drugs endorsed by President Donald Trump but which health professionals say need more definitive tests.
  • The company also created a tool, called “therapeutic learning system, accessible in the US and other countries, which the US government, state agencies and other countries could use for gathering real-time data on the effectiveness of specific treatments.
  • The tool would essentially serve as a global crowdsourcing system for evaluating the different treatments and remedies being tried by physicians and individuals throughout the world, according to a source familiar with the situation.
  • Ellison and Catz are among Trump’s top supporters in the tech industry, with the former recently hosting a fundraising dinner for the president’s re-election campaign.
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Oracle told its employees Tuesday that it has set up a cloud system that would help the US government find a cure for COVID-19 faster, according to a copy of an internal memo seen by Business Insider.

Oracle also said in the memo that it set up and donated to the US government a “therapeutic learning system” which would allow doctors and patients to “record responses to promising COVID-19 drug therapies.” This would make it possible to collect “real-world data” from the US and other countries on the effectiveness of specific COVID-19 treatments.

“We are proud to use our resources and talent to make a difference,” Ellison and Catz said in the memo. “We will win this war!” The memo was signed “Larry and Safra.”

The “therapeutic learning system” would essentially serve as a global crowdsourcing tool for evaluating the different treatments and remedies being tried by physicians and individuals throughout the world, according to a source familiar with the situation. 

The data, which will be anonymized, will be accessible for free to the Department of Health and Human Services and the health agencies of states and other countries. It is not intended to replace clinical trials, but would offer more insights into the treatments being tried worldwide, the source said.

The memo specifically cites efforts in helping clinicians assess the possibility of using antimalarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment. President Donald Trump has been criticized for publicly endorsing malaria drugs for the treatment of COVID-19. However, leading medical professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Trump administration’s key infectious-disease expert, said clinical tests were needed to make sure the substances are safe and effective.

Ellison and Catz are among Trump’s top supporters in the tech industry. Catz had served as a member of his transition team after the 2016 election. Ellison recently held a fundraising dinner for Trump, which sparked a protest by some Oracle employees.

Cloud tools

Oracle founder Larry Ellison and CEO Safra Catz also told employees that the tech giant has deployed cloud applications to the US government to help evaluate proposed drugs for the pandemic. 

Oracle is the leading provider of enterprise technology, including sophisticated database systems used to store and manage information of some of the biggest corporations and government agencies. These technologies could be critical in performing expedited clinical tests rapidly with high degrees of accuracy.

The cloud tools “will gather data necessary to enable health professionals to answer a few questions: What drugs, at what dosages when administered, are effective in treating or preventing the COVID-19 virus?”

Scientists and health professionals will be able to use its cloud tools to run clinical trials to test seven COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The clinical trials involve 250 institutional sites in 17 countries, the Oracle executives said.

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