VUMC Launches Precision Medicine Subsidiary, Nashville Biosciences | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

VUMC Launches Precision Medicine Subsidiary, Nashville Biosciences

April 5, 2018
by Heather Landi
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

Officials with Nashville-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have launched a subsidiary to house the organization’s genomic and bioinformatics resources to advance drug and diagnostics discovery and development.

The subsidiary, Nashville Biosciences, will serve as a commercial interface between outside companies and the research resources housed in VUMC, including its comprehensive databank BioVU, which contains more than 250,000 DNA samples collected over the last decade, coupled with 2.8 million de-identified patient records.

According to VUMC officials, pharmaceutical and other life science companies can leverage the wealth of data contained within the Medical Center’s genomics and health information technology resources to accelerate their discovery and development of new treatments for patients, while helping to support institutional research efforts.

“Partnering with the pharmaceutical and broader life sciences industry through Nashville Biosciences will enable VUMC to expand and support its mission of advancing translational and precision medicine,” Leeland Ekstrom, Ph.D., chief operating officer of Nashville Biosciences, said in a statement.

“The creation of Nashville Biosciences will dramatically accelerate our ability to work with pharmaceutical and other partners to advance human health by accelerating rational drug and diagnostics development and use,” Dan Roden, M.D., VUMC’s senior vice president for personalized medicine.

Among the capabilities that will distinguish the company are analytical methods developed for “mining” DNA datasets. For example, researchers led by Josh Denny, M.D., vice president of personalized medicine, have pioneered techniques such as PheWAS that can link specific genetic mutations to their key clinical characteristics (known as disease phenotypes).

Prior to the official launch of Nashville Biosciences, VUMC has been working with a number of leading pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies to leverage these resources, including: Celgene Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company based in Summit, New Jersey; Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in New York, New York; Goldfinch Bio Inc., a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts focused on precision medicines for patients with kidney diseases; and Population Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company based in Melville, New York.

These projects, each of which aims to discover new treatments for patients in disease areas of interest for each partner, as well as multiple other ongoing efforts, will transition to the new company in the coming weeks, VUMC officials said.

“We’ve only just started to scratch the surface of what is possible with genomics and informatics resources that can be coalesced for research in a comprehensive academic medical center,” Gordon Bernard, M.D., executive vice president for research for VUMC.

“Partnering with Nashville Biosciences will greatly expand the national and global reach of these resources,” Bernard said.

2018 Nashville Health IT Summit

Renowned leaders in U.S. and North American healthcare gather throughout the year to present important information and share insights at the Healthcare Informatics Health IT Summits.

June 28 - 29, 2018 | Nashville



House Appropriations Bill Includes 29 Percent Budget Cut for ONC, $1.25B Increase for NIH in 2019

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft 2019 budget for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and departments of Labor and Education that proposed slashing funding for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) by $17.7 million.

Value-Based Care is Bending the Cost Curve, Report Finds

Value-based care is bending the healthcare cost curve, reducing unnecessary medical costs by nearly 6 percent on average while also improving care quality and patient engagement, according to new research from Nashville-based Change Healthcare.

Health Share of Oregon Facing Challenges with Ride to Care Service

Health Share of Oregon’s non-emergency transportation vendor is in danger of losing money if it doesn’t meet its performance targets by the end of June, the coordinated care organization recently stated.

NJ Hospital Association Invests in Opioid Tracking Tool for Hospitals

As opioid overdoses continue to claim more lives, the New Jersey Hospital Association and its Health Research and Educational Trust announced a $1.5 million investment in an emergency department tracking tool for hospitals statewide to better monitor opioid prescriptions.

Sequoia Project Revises National Patient Matching Framework

The nonprofit Sequoia Project, an industry advocate for nationwide interoperability, has released a revised national patient matching framework.

Kaiser, Emory Healthcare Partner on Integrated Care Model in Atlanta

Emory Healthcare, the clinical arm of Emory University, and Kaiser Permanente have announced a partnership in metropolitan Atlanta.