Collaboration is Foundation Medicine's Second Major Pharmaceutical Company Alliance in 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Foundation Medicine, Inc., a personalized cancer diagnostics company that aims to bring comprehensive cancer genome analysis to routine clinical care, today announced a strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG). The collaboration - Foundation Medicine's second major pharmaceutical company alliance in 2011 - is focused on using Foundation Medicine's comprehensive clinical cancer genomics test in ongoing trials of Celgene drug candidates. The test in development will be used to facilitate faster recruitment of target patient populations and for broad genetic characterization of all trial enrollees which may help to identify those patients most likely to respond to Celgene drug candidates. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We look forward to working with Foundation Medicine and believe their cancer genome analysis platform has the potential to enhance the delivery of personalized care for cancer patients," said Raj Chopra, M.D., Ph.D., head of translational medicine, Celgene. "The information that Foundation Medicine will provide has the potential to make the drug development process faster and more efficient, enabling us to identify sub-groups of patients in clinical trials who may benefit from our therapies and improve overall outcomes."
Foundation Medicine's comprehensive genomic test will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze routine clinical specimens (i.e., small amounts of paraffin-embedded tumor) for molecular alterations in more than 200 cancer-related genes. The test will be optimized for clinical-grade analysis of tumor tissues, overcoming multiple complexities (such as purity, ploidy and clonality) inherent to tumor genomes.
The company is working to translate this capability into clinically relevant tests for pathologists and oncologists and expects to obtain CLIA certification as it works to build its cancer diagnostic testing platforms. Test results will be reported through a secure, interactive website linking genomic data to a structured knowledgebase of relevant, publicly available scientific and medical information. Patients whose cancers have specific genetic alterations are often very difficult to recruit for clinical trials, so the company also aims to provide information on relevant clinical trials through its website. By combining genomic data and scientific and medical information in an easy-to-use format, Foundation Medicine seeks to help physicians make the best possible treatment recommendations for each patient.
This announcement follows the recent appointment of Michael J. Pellini, M.D., to the position of president and chief executive officer at Foundation Medicine. Dr. Pellini joined the company from Clarient, a GE Healthcare Company, where he was president and chief operating officer.
"We are very excited to announce this collaboration with Celgene, which marks Foundation Medicine's second pharmaceutical industry alliance this year," said Dr. Pellini. "In addition to our collaborations with Celgene and Novartis, Foundation Medicine plans to leverage the breadth and quality of our cancer genome analysis platform to provide a high-quality test for clinical use. We are building significant momentum toward our goal of making personalized cancer treatment a reality for physicians and their patients through the continued strengthening of our senior management team and through collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and academia."
About Foundation Medicine
Foundation Medicine is dedicated to the development of a comprehensive diagnostic test that improves cancer care by helping physicians personalize treatment for their patients. Foundation Medicine's laboratory test is being designed to accommodate a broad landscape of cancer genome information and a growing repertoire of more targeted treatments and clinical research opportunities. Foundation Medicine's test will assist physicians to make prompt and informed determinations about the best cancer treatments and clinical trial options for each patient, taking into account each patient's unique cancer-associated alterations alongside publicly available scientific and medical information. The company's founding advisors are world leaders in genome technology, cancer biology and medical oncology; they, alongside clinicians, biotech and molecular diagnostics industry leaders, are working to harness emerging technologies to develop unparalleled tests that will identify and interpret an ever-growing set of actionable genomic alterations, truly enabling personalized cancer medicine. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.foundationmedicine.com.