Cynvenio, CollabRx will use data to personalize the cancer Dx process

Two California companies are teaming up to blend data analytics with cancer gene sequencing diagnostics to enhance everyday disease management for patients.

The multiyear deal brings Cynvenio, a Westlake Village, CA-based molecular diagnostics company, together with CollabRx, a San Francisco data analytics company focused on molecular medicine. Their arrangement relies on the use of CollabRx products such as its Genetic Variant Annotation Service (GVA)--software designed to help clinical and academic labs spot irregularities in gene sequences from tumor samples. This is possible, in part, through a database with aggregated information in areas including the clinical impact of certain genetic tumor profiles and what related drugs or other investigational therapies are being tested. GVA will be paired initially with Cynvenio's ClearID Breast Cancer blood test, which uses next-generation sequencing to identify breast cancer survivors with a high risk of recurrence by screening for circulating tumor cells with cancer-related mutations.

Cynvenio CEO André de Fusco said in a statement that the combination should give physicians a way to place the results of a next-generation sequencing test in context in order to quickly match patients with "highly personalized cancer treatments."

CollabRx's President and CEO Thomas Mika said in a statement that the company chose to work with Cynvenio because "their approach of combining the detection of circulating tumor cells with genomic analysis is important for the early detection of cancer, choice of therapy and ultimately to achieve the best possible clinical outcomes for breast cancer patients."

A number of companies are working to bring next-generation gene sequencing diagnostic devices into more common use for regular medical care, though their approaches vary. Illumina ($ILMN) recently won the FDA's OK for four new devices designed for cystic fibrosis testing and broader sequencing of a patient's genome. California's GenapSys is pursuing next-generation sequencing, in part, for the testing of genetic diseases, cancer and microbes. NextCODE Health debuted with a $15 million Series A earlier in October with a focus on using gene sequencing technology to help doctors and geneticists quickly diagnose patients.

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