Oracle sets sights on genetic testing with new precision medicine biz

Steve Rosenberg, SVP and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences

Precision medicine is growing by leaps and bounds, and Oracle ($ORCL) is wise to the trend. The company is unveiling a new business aimed at facilitating genetic testing to uncover better treatments for patients.

The Redwood Shores, CA-based company's Oracle Healthcare Precision Medicine will harness Oracle's flagship software and data tools to improve genetic screening and reports for diseases. As it stands, clinicians, researchers and pathologists face some hurdles creating diagnostic reports for individual patients due to multiple factors, including lack of scale, privacy and security issues and different workflows.

Oracle wants to remove some of those roadblocks by offering new solutions. Part of the company's game plan involves running full-spectrum testing from gene panels through whole genome sequencing, streamlining lab workflow and linking up to electronic health record systems to improve results, Oracle said in a statement.

"Applying our deep data expertise and healthcare innovation insight, we've developed Oracle Healthcare Precision Medicine, an innovative solution that supports advanced methodologies for personalized treatments. It is the next logical step in support of precision medicine," Steve Rosenberg, Oracle Health Sciences' senior VP and general manager, said in a statement.

Precision medicine has been a buzzword in the industry during the past two years, especially after President Obama kicked off a precision medicine initiative last January to get the ball rolling on research. Almost half of all drugs in development are personalized medicines, and survival rates for certain cancers and heart conditions have improved with precision medicine treatments, Oracle pointed out in statement.

But Oracle is far from the only company to make waves in the field. Last summer, Foundation Medicine ($FMI) said that it would team up with tech firm IMS Health ($IMS) to create a new cancer diagnostics tool. The initiative underscores "a recognition within the healthcare industry that rich and highly credible information will be the primary catalyst for the broad adoption of precision medicine, particularly in oncology," Foundation Medicine CEO Dr. Michael Pellini said at the time.

- here's the statement