Palantir Technologies, the Silicon Valley data analytics company — and a contractor for the U.S. intelligence community — and German drug maker Merck KGaA (MRK)  are forming a joint venture in the Boston area to help advance cancer research.

The collaboration, announced Monday,  will be called Syntropy. It will offer data analytics tools to teaching hospitals, biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies, and others so that scientists can detect patterns that could lead to the development of new cancer treatments.

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