Thursday, May 2, 2013
Foundation Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center today announced a partnership that brings together clinical, genomic and computational expertise to advance patient care in hematologic cancers. This effort will focus on co-development of a new Foundation Medicine molecular diagnostic product designed to match patients with hematologic cancers (leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma) with the most rational targeted therapies or clinical trials for their cancer. Leaders in hematology from Memorial Sloan Kettering will help accelerate product development by providing clinical and genomic expertise. This product complements FoundationOne™, Foundation Medicine’s first product, which offers a similar fully informative genomic profile for solid tumors and likewise provides a concise report to assist physicians in matching patients with the targeted drugs or clinical trials best suited for their unique cancer. FoundationOne was launched in 2012.
“The development of clinical grade sequencing is rapidly changing the practice of oncology, enabling us to more precisely understand and target the genomic alterations that drive a patient’s individual cancer,” said Craig B. Thompson, MD, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “We are partnering with Foundation Medicine to develop a best-in-class assay for hematologic cancers because we view achieving this goal as an extension of our mission as a comprehensive cancer center: making it possible for all patients to be treated with the therapy that is matched with their individual cancer.”
“Memorial Sloan Kettering is one of the world’s premier cancer centers with deep scientific and clinical understanding of hematologic cancers and a commitment to driving a new genomic paradigm of individualized cancer care,” said Michael J. Pellini, MD, president and chief executive officer of Foundation Medicine. “Our approach is to collaborate with leaders like Memorial Sloan Kettering across all areas of clinical oncology and cancer genomics and seek partners who are equally committed to the changing paradigm of cancer care. This is the ideal partnership to support the development of our new product for patients with hematologic malignancies.”
This new test is being developed using RNA sequencing in addition to DNA sequencing to better enable identification of the unique genes and classes of genomic alterations that are characteristic of hematologic malignancies. Similar to FoundationOne, the new hematologic malignancy test will assist physicians by matching these alterations with targeted treatment options that may be relevant to the patient’s genomic profile based on a comprehensive review of published literature.
The test will be based on technology, methods and computational algorithms developed by Foundation Medicine, and Foundation Medicine will commercialize the test both in the United States and internationally. Memorial Sloan Kettering will help accelerate the development and optimization of the product by contributing their clinical and genomic expertise in hematologic malignancies. Foundation Medicine operates a CLIA-certified lab in Cambridge, Mass. and receives clinical patient samples from academic medical centers and community hospitals all over the world. The new test is expected to be commercially available by year-end 2013.