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GE, Acorn Research to Partner on Molecular Cancer Testing

DNA strand (NSF)

(James. J. Caras, National Science Foundation)

Clarient Inc., a division of GE Healthcare in Aliso Viejo, California, and ACORN Research in Memphis have agreed to collaborate on molecular testing of tumor samples to result in standardized molecular profiles that improve the link between testing and treatment. These processes, say the companies, can eventually improve cancer treatment and research by delivering targeted treatments based on specific genetic markers for each patient.

Under the agreement, the companies plan to set up a standardized testing protocol across Acorn’s network of oncology community practices and hospitals that will be reflected in treatment guidelines and clinical trial opportunities. The protocols seek to establish a system for the collection of tumor-specific biomarker data at the time of the patient’s initial cancer diagnosis.

The collaboration expects to enable the matching of biomarker data with outcomes data from clinical trials and clinical practice to help identify new prognostic markers and biomarker-specific treatments. “The opportunity to discover new markers that could be relevant in the individualized treatment of cancer,” says Clarient CEO Ron Andrews, “has the potential to improve mortality rates, enhance patient quality of life, and reduce the cost burden on cancer treatment to both patients and payers.”

Clarient brings to the partnership its experience in cancer diagnostics and pathology, including technologies, such as flow cytometry and molecular testing. Acorn Research offers a network of oncology research sites and a bioinformatics platform that combines the complete electronic medical record with patient outcomes.

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