GE Healthcare ($GE) will use its gene sequencing expertise with a group at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet to find causes of metastatic breast cancer.
Neither side is disclosing the financial details, but their agreement underscores how GE Healthcare continues to branch out from patient monitoring, medical imaging and healthcare IT. In case you've forgotten, GE Healthcare disclosed in 2011 that it was committing $1 billion of its total R&D budget over the next 5 years, in part, to advancing its cancer diagnostics and molecular imaging capabilities.
The Karolinska agreement actually involves subsidiary SeqWright Genomic Services, a Houston, TX, enterprise focused on genomic services including nucleic acid sequencing. Initially, the Karolinska/GE Healthcare team will use next-generation sequencing to spot metastatic breast cancer-related mutations and gene variations. The Karolinska Institutet will provide tissue samples and GE Healthcare brings technical analysis capabilities to the table. If they're successful, they'll help predict which patients are prone to metastatic cancer.
Ger Brophy, GE Healthcare's chief technology officer for life sciences, said in a statement that the next-generation sequencing "will be critical to the future of therapeutic decision making" and new drug development. And he's right. Gene sequencing is becoming more commonplace by the day as a tool to help develop more precise diagnostic tools and targeted treatments.
GE Healthcare's Clarient Diagnostic Services bought SeqWright in 2012.
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