Daily Archives: October 3, 2011

GE Healthcare to Invest $1B in Cancer R&D Including Biomarker Development

Capture by GenomeWeb 

GE Healthcare today announced plans to dedicate $1 billion in research and development spending over the next five years to expand its cancer diagnostic and molecular imaging capabilities, technologies for manufacturing biopharmaceuticals, and cancer research.

In line with those plans, its Clarient business is furthering development of a biomarker to identify patients who do not respond to taxane therapies for certain cancers. GE purchased Clarient last year for around $580 million with an eye toward combining Clarient’s biomarker efforts with its existing imaging capabilities.

“[W]ith a disease as complex and multifaceted as cancer, solutions need to be equally multifaceted and even more integrated, combining imaging, molecular diagnostics, and healthcare IT,” GE Healthcare President and CEO John Dineen said in a statement.

GE also announced a $100 million open innovation challenge “to find and fund ideas to accelerate detection of breast cancer and enable more personalized treatment.” The new investments, it said, will “focus on developing new oncology solutions and build on advanced technologies and research already in progress.”

One area of research focuses on a new biomarker, TLE3, which is being developed to help clinicians exclude patients least likely to benefit from taxane therapy. The biomarker is being developed by GE Clarient for breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer.

In addition to improving patient outcomes, the work could save the healthcare system millions of dollars each year, GE said, adding it hopes to have a test based on the biomarker launched in 2013.

GE also plans to invest in molecular pathology for the development of cancer diagnostic technologies for “a clearer picture of pathways driving specific tumors,” as well as research that advances understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cancer.

UNC, BU, Roswell Land $19.3M for African-American Cancer Study

Captured by GenomeWeb

A research partnership project between the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Boston University will use a $19.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study how genetics and environment interplay in breast cancer cases among younger African-American women.

The study continues ongoing efforts based at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to study why African-American women under the age of 45 are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive types of breast cancer and have poorer outcomes than American women of European ancestry in the same age groups, according to UNC, BU, and Roswell.

In that age group, African-American women have a 76 percent five-year survival rate compared to an 88 percent survival rate for white women, according to the most recently-available data, according to UNC.

The grant will pull together breast cancer cases from four ongoing studies — the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, the Women’s Circle of Health Study, the Black Women’s Health study, and the Multiethnic Cohort Study, and will involve more than 5,000 participants.

“Our aim is to explore the potential biologic, environmental and epidemiologic causes of this difference in cancer incidence,” Robert Millikan, a professor of cancer epidemiology at UNC, said in a statement today. “Our previous studies and those of our colleagues have suggested hypotheses that we will be investigating with this larger group of patients.” Read more…

The Ohio State University Pioneering the Advancement of HealthCare Delivery

Guest post by Clay Marsh, MD; Senior Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research, The Ohio State University Medical Center; Vice Dean for Research, The Ohio State University College of Medicine; Executive Director, Center for Personalized Health Care, The Ohio State University Medical Center

Clay Marsh

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services reported that total healthcare spending in the United States for 2009 topped $2.5 trillion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 75 percent of national healthcare spending is applied to the treatment of chronic diseases, many of which is preventable. Researchers and clinicians of The Ohio State University recognize that a new approach to medicine is needed to make our healthcare system financially sustainable and to improve the quality of life for every American.

The Ohio State University Medical Center is transforming healthcare delivery from its current reactive, or “sick care” mode, to a proactive one that makes health care more predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory – what Ohio State’s Medical Center refers to as P4 Medicine.

P4 Medicine focuses on creating systems and processes to deliver key evidence-based practices and to stratify individuals into smaller precise populations to deliver these key interventions. The goal of P4 Medicine is to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes, and it embraces the interface between an individual’s unique DNA, environment and behavior to choose the right intervention at the right time for the right person. P4 Medicine utilizes advances in genomics and molecular diagnostics discoveries to provide predictive information that is necessary to tailor, or personalize, disease management approaches for each individual. Therapeutics and health management tools are being developed to help prevent disease instead of merely treating the symptoms. Medicine of the future is also participatory. Patients will have access to a single portal that electronically stores their medical records and genetic profiles and tools that analyze these data to guide them to precise strategies to promote wellness. In addition, social networking and the power of games will be instrumental to engaging the consumer to taking ownership of their health care.

Our goal is to transform disease-based care of today to wellness-based care of the future. Together, we are well positioned to develop more specific, effective and efficient treatments for patients with disease and to create tools that define wellness at a deep molecular level, empowering individuals to take an active role in their health care.

How are you living P4 Medicine, and actively participating in your individual health care?

For more information about Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care and P4 Medicine, go to: http://cphc.osu.edu or http://phc.osumc.edu/. To receive a free subscription to Ohio State’s “P4 Medicine Update” – a compilation of industry news and research developments relevant to the advancement of predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory medicine – contact Sherri Kirk, Program Director, Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care, 614-366-3277, or Sherri.Kirk@osumc.edu.