Indiana University, the Regenstrief Institute and Indianapolis-based technology company LifeOmic have announced a collaboration involving precision medicine.
The organizations announced that LifeOmic will work with scientists at IU and Regenstrief to develop a “data commons” to store genetic and other medical data for millions of patients within a single repository, with the goal of creating a platform that can be used by researchers and clinicians around the state to make discoveries and improve the delivery of personalized health care.
The agreement also enables individual investigators at IU and Regenstrief to collaborate with LifeOmic on other projects. For example, an IU immunologist might work with LifeOmic to develop a test to help physicians more efficiently and accurately diagnose autoimmune disorders. Such partnerships with industry are common but typically require separate, time-consuming negotiations for each project.
Under terms of the agreement, LifeOmic receives a blanket license to a broad range of intellectual property owned by IU and Regenstrief as well as access to faculty. In return, IU and Regenstrief receive a minority equity position in LifeOmic. The strategic agreement will greatly facilitate collaboration across the three partners, removing traditional barriers between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
“The problems and challenges we are facing in health care today are too big to be solved by any one institution,” said Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., IU associate vice president of research for university clinical affairs and executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine, in a prepared statement. “To make progress, we must collaborate with other universities and with private industry across multiple fields. My vision is to forge more industry partnerships like this with minimal bureaucratic barriers to collaborations, so we can tap into the expertise we need to serve patients in Indiana and elsewhere.”
LifeOmic is using DNA sequencing and big data analytics to advance the development of precision medicine. The LifeOmic Precision Medicine Platform™ is a secure cloud service for the long-term storage, retrieval, analysis and clinical use of genomic and other medical information. ITs founder and CEO, Don Brown, M.D., founded two of the first three software companies ever to go public in Indiana – Software Artistry and Interactive Intelligence. Interactive Intelligence was acquired by Genesys Telecommunications Labs in 2016.
“Indiana University’s expertise in precision health research, combined with the Regenstrief Institute’s long history of innovation in medical records data and LifeOmic’s impressive capabilities in genomic data storage and management, make for a powerful partnership that will help our institutions collaborate to improve health in Indiana and beyond,” said IU President Michael McRobbie, Ph.D., in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the discoveries that will stem from this alliance of academia and industry.”