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Collaboration Collecting Data to ID Precise Cancer Meds

Blood vials


7 April 2015. A partnership between Caris Life Sciences and COTA, short for Cancer Outcomes Tracking and Analysis, is combining data on the chemical makeup of cancer patients with clinical outcomes information to create better profiles of cancer tumors and identify more personalized therapies. Financial details between Caris Life Sciences in Irving, Texas and COTA, based in New York, were not disclosed.

Caris provides a service called molecular intelligence that analyzes the molecular composition of tumors from cancer patients, and compares the results with data from clinical studies to provide their doctors with treatment recommendations best fitting the patients’ tumor profiles. The company says it has more than 70,000 such tumor profiles in its databases.

COTA is a medical analytics company that specializes in cancer diagnostics during the course of a patient’s care. The COTA platform draws data from cancer patients’ electronic health records and provides a precise analysis of each patient’s condition into more fine-grained sub-types. That analysis continues during the time of a patient’s treatment, providing doctors with individualized reports as treatments and outcomes change for the patient.

In their collaboration, Caris and COTA plan to merge their different approaches to individualized cancer care, with the goal of providing an even more precise diagnosis and actionable results for doctors and their patients. The partnership will combine Caris’s molecular data of tumors, including genomic and proteomic factors, with COTA’s precise classification scheme monitored over the course of a patient’s care. All data in this combined knowledge base, say the companies, will have identifying details of individuals removed.

The collaboration will be part of what Caris calls its centers of excellence for precision medicine network. “This collaboration combines our robust database of molecular information,” says Caris chairman and CEO David Halbert in a joint statement, “with COTA’s unique classification and real-time, longitudinal patient tracking capabilities to further expand access and utilization of our tumor profiling service, and to gain insights into cancer treatment outcomes, costs of care, and advance the discovery and delivery of more personalized targeted therapies.”

Eric Schultz, CEO of COTA, notes this approach will help the health care industry better fit in with new reimbursement models encouraging alternatives to traditional fee-for-service payments. “The combination of genomic and proteomic molecular data with COTA’s precise classification and clinical outcomes information and economic data,” says Schultz, “will provide meaningful insights for both physicians and payers, especially as the industry moves toward value-based treatment and reimbursement practices.”

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