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Health Data, Analytics Firms to Boost Cancer Trial Access

DNA molecules

DNA molecule display (Christian Guthier, Flickr)

29 May 2015. A health data company and genetic analytics firm are beginning a service that they say will make it easier for cancer patients to take part in clinical trials of new drugs. Financial details of the collaboration between Guardian Research Network in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Molecular Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts were not disclosed.

The partnership aims to increase access for people with cancer to genomic profiling of their tumors matched to clinical trials through the combined offerings of the two companies. Molecular Health provides genetic analysis of solid tumors through its TreatmentMAP testing service using high-throughput sequencing that the company says returns a genomic analysis to guide an individual’s treatment decisions. TreatmentMAP uses either Molecular Health’s panel of target genes or conducts a whole-exome sequencing that covers all protein coding genes.

Guardian Research Network is aggregating a database of electronic health records from medical centers nationwide to identify prospects for clinical trials. The company says its database combines detailed medical data including demographics, pathology reports, lab analyses, images, physician notes, and genetic information. Guardian says its goal is to increase clinical trial access to people in their own communities, thus reducing the burdens of travel that limit access to these studies.

Under the agreement, Guardian will adopt Molecular Health’s TreatmentMAP program for genetic analyses, and use InsightMAP services for trial matching, sample stratification, and analytics. InsightMAP enhances TreatmentMAP with modeling of drug mechanisms and toxicity, and integrates customer-specific clinical and molecular data. The company also provides an outcomes analysis service.

Guardian says it can reduce clinical trial recruitment times from years to weeks. Through its database, says the company, it can not only find optimal patients for clinical trials, but also identify trial sites most convenient to patient prospects, reducing their time and financial burdens. Guardian was founded in late 2014, and so far presents no case studies nor customer lists on its Web site.

Molecular Health was founded in 2004 in Germany, and still has its headquarters in Heidelberg. The company has about 100 employees in Germany and the U.S., in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas.

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