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NantHealth, TransMed Partner on Cancer Genomics

Cancer in headline


7 December 2016. Two companies offering medical analytics aim to provide cancer specialists with individualized genomic analyses for their patients, and more access to clinical trials. The partnership will combine the services of NantHealth Inc. in Culver City, California and TransMed Systems in Cupertino, California for cancer care centers in the U.S., which the companies say will make it easier to enroll patients in clinical trials testing immunotherapies.

NantHealth offers the GPS Cancer system that provides molecular profiling of cancer cells from individual patients. GPS Cancer combines whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of DNA and RNA respectively of cancerous and normal tissue, with quantitative analysis of proteins by mass spectrometry that identifies specific chemical signatures. GPS Cancer analytics, says NantHealth, are designed to provide physicians with precise data on a patient’s cancer, including identification of biomarkers that can trigger drug resistance or indicate sensitivity to specific treatments, such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

TransMed Systems develops IT solutions for the health care industry, including platforms for clinical practices and to support precision medicine decision-making. TransMed designs its systems to draw data from disparate sources and integrating the data into a common health care repository, for providing common analytics to both physicians and researchers.

Under the agreement, cancer specialists and cancer care medical centers will be able to share GPS Cancer data through TransMed Systems clinical care applications, with the data aggregated in TransMed repositories for analytics supporting precision-medicine decisions. Reports for specific patient populations are expected to include data such as mean survival times, death rates, and complications associated with particular treatments. The joint data sharing and aggregation program will be offered in 2017 through networks such as the National Cancer Care Alliance.

The companies say the NantHealth and TransMed Systems alliance supports a key objective of the Cancer Moonshot 2020 project, a public-private consortium that parallels the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative. Cancer Moonshot 2020 seeks to expand the availability of immunotherapy treatments for cancer patients, to make the treatments a more viable alternative and eventually become the standard of care for cancer, replacing chemotherapy.

Cancer Moonshot 2020 was proposed and is led by Patrick Soon-Shiong, a physician-scientist and entrepreneur, who founded and is CEO of NantHealth, one of a collection of health-related start-ups, as well as NantKwest, a developer of cancer immunotherapies. A key goal of Cancer Moonshot 2020 is to develop a common master protocol for clinical trials testing cancer immunotherapies, that integrates data from the trials to cover all elements of the immune system, and document results of individual treatments, as well as combinations.

This common protocol is called QUantum Immuno-oncology Lifelong Trial, or Quilt. “Oncologists throughout the country are constantly searching for trials that fit their specific patients’ needs,” says Soon-Shiong in a NantHealth statement. “This initiative creates the opportunity for patients to access new and existing trials under the Quilt program.”

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