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Geisinger, Indivumed Collaborate for Personalized Medicine Initiative

July 18, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System has announced a new partnership that will afford Geisinger patients access to advanced cancer treatment and clinical trials.

The collaboration with the Hamburg, Germany-based Indivumed, which develops technology for individualized oncology, allows the company to collect samples from consenting patients who are already undergoing a surgical tumor resection.

Upon resection, a portion of the tissue, blood or urine remaining beyond what is required to make a clinical diagnosis will be banked at Geisinger through MyCode, a repository that holds more than 45,000 patient samples. Another portion will be banked by Indivumed, which will analyze the tissue to be used in the development and, eventually, application of targeted therapies for cancer patients.

"Developing targeted pharmaceutical therapies for cancer patients is at the core of our collaboration with Geisinger," Hartmut Juhl, founder and CEO of Indivumed, said in a statement. "Geisinger's advanced electronic health record and clinical data repository coupled with our ability to comprehensively analyze patients' individual cancers provides a unique opportunity to quickly translate new scientific discoveries into the practice of medicine."

Indivumed will integrate its biobanking standard at Geisinger Health System to jointly create a platform that offers opportunities for clinical research focused on tumor biology, officials say.

Indivumed maintains a biobank of tissues and annotated data from more than 20,000 patients—with about 1,500 new cases added per year—each collected under stringent specifications. The overall goal is to understand the biological difference between tumors and how patients respond to treatment to support the implementation of personalized therapy.

Research demonstrates that proteins change expression profiles significantly within minutes following surgical resection. Many of those proteins may serve as biomarkers for new drugs. For this reason, controlled and rapid tissue processing is necessary for understanding biological differences of or within patient tumors, especially when developing targeted therapies.

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