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In Brief This Week: Enzo Biochem, Caris Life Sciences, Human Longevity, More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Personalized Medicine Coalition iks receiving a two-year, $220,000 Eugene Washington Engagement Award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support the development of a patient-centered research agenda to advance personalized medicine.

The research agenda developed during the project will be publicly disseminated and may inform future studies supported by PCORI, an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to fund research to provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with evidence to make more informed health decisions. During the first stage of the project, PMC will work with its members in the patient and research communities to develop a set of patient-centered principles to advance personalized medicine during four web forums, each of which may convene up to 100 participants. The coalition will then invite approximately 45 patients, researchers, and healthcare providers to an in-person roundtable in Washington, DC, at which participants will translate the principles into research objectives. Finally, PMC will publish the complete research agenda in the form of a white paper.

Enzo Biochem said this week that it has entered an agreement to purchase a nearly 36,000-square-foot commercial facility in Farmingdale, New York, that it anticipates will enhance its ability to produce and distribute a growing portfolio of molecular, immunohistochemistry, immunoassay, and immune-oncology products and services.

The building, adjacent to the company's Long Island campus, expands the infrastructure needed to produce and distribute its expanding diagnostic platform products and related services, including automation-compatible reagent systems and associated products for sample collection and processing through analysis. The new facility also provides more space for production of its development-stage clinical candidates, including Enzo’s proprietary sphingosine kinase 1 inhibitor, SK1-I, which is being investigated for potential applications in oncology and autoimmune diseases.

In connection with the acquisition of the new facility, the Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency has committed to providing multi-year tax abatements and additional incentives, Enzo said.

Hoosier Cancer Research Network, an organization that conducts cancer research in collaboration with academic and community physicians and scientists in the US, has selected Caris Life Sciences to perform genomic tumor profiling for a new Phase II bladder cancer trial.

The study is seeking to define the safety and activity of a combination therapy consisting of gemcitabine and cisplatin chemotherapies and nivolumab (Opdivo), an immunotherapy, as neoadjuvant therapy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

In addition, the partners want to define the role of clinical complete response in predicting benefits in patients opting to avoid cystectomy, or removal of the bladder; and to determine if the combination therapy could be a substitute for this type of surgery for patients carrying certain mutations in DNA repair genes, such as ATM, RB1, FANCC, and ERCC2.

Caris will identify and report molecular aberrations through next-generation sequencing of 592 DNA genes and genomic signatures, which include analysis of tumor mutational burden and microsatellite instability. The firm will also extract tumor DNA and RNA for future studies to help determine which biomarkers in the tumor best correlate with patient response in the trial.

Insurance company Scor Global Life will offer its clients access to Human Longevity's health information under a new partnership announced this week. Human Longevity combines DNA sequencing and analysis with machine learning to generate a personal health risk profile that also includes data from tests such as MRI, blood samples, and EKG.

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the EGFR Resisters, a patient-driven community of people living with EGFR-positive lung cancer, are working together to raise funds and increase awareness of projects that benefit the EGFR community. Combining the efforts of ALCF and its research arm, Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute, with the patient advocacy of several hundred people around the globe who have come together to form the EGFR Resisters will enable greater outreach to obtain research funding, the partners said.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb.