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Geisinger, Indivumed Partner on Personalized Cancer Therapy

DNA in test tube


15 July 2014. Geisinger Health System that serves central and eastern Pennsylvania is partnering with Indivumed GmbH, a biotech company and biobank in Hamburg, Germany to provide individualized cancer diagnostics for Geisinger clients. Financial details of the deal first announced in May 2013, but formalized this week, were not disclosed.

Indivumed maintains a biorepository of tumor samples from about 20,000 cancer patients, which are collected and preserved within 10 minutes of removal for biopsies or resection to limit changes in proteins expressed from tumor cells. This collection of samples serves as a base for research on cancer biomarkers and drug screening, as well as providing insights for physicians in determining treatments for their patients. The company says it adds about 1,500 new cases each year.

Under the agreement, Geisinger will share with Indivumed tissue and blood samples from consenting cancer patients. The quantity of tissue removed during resection needed for diagnosis will be saved in Geisinger’s MyCode genetic repository with some 45,000 samples. The MyCode program performs a genomic sequencing of the cancerous tissue which is linked to the patient’s individual health record, but also shared in anonymous form in a research database.

The remainder of the patient’s tissue sample will be analyzed by Indivumed, to develop an individualized cancer therapy for the patient. Indivumed plans to integrate its biobanking standards with Geisinger’s electronic health records and clinical data repository to form a joint diagnostics platform.

In January 2014, Geisinger and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York announced a plan to collect blood specimens from 100,000 Geisinger patients for DNA sequencing by Regeneron. The results will be linked to patients’ individual health records at Geisinger and in its MyCode database to provide more individualized therapies.

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