NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) ̶ The North Shore-LIJ Health System and GeneDx said today that they are partnering to offer a wide variety of genomic testing to patients in the North Shore-LIJ system.
GeneDx will provide pre-natal testing, pediatric diagnostics, testing for inherited cancer risk, tumor sequencing, genomic testing for cancer patients to guide therapies, and genetic testing for cardiac abnormalities and neurological disorders, among other offerings. GeneDx will also provide the health system with support services such as genetic counseling.
"The alliance with North Shore-LIJ is an opportunity to work with a very large and influential institution and provide them not only all of those services but to be able to offer under their own auspices every conceivable kind of sequencing test now offered and available anywhere," Marc Grodman, CEO of GeneDx parent company BioReference Laboratories, told GenomeWeb. "They will work to make it their own, and they will work on an educational basis and on a counseling basis to provide support."
The two entities are also forming a limited liability corporation in order to use the data generated from patient testing to refine the tests and make new discoveries. This will allow the hospital do its own research and form its own guidelines on when patients require genomic testing, and what kind, Grodman added. The LLC may even facilitate commercial collaborations, depending on the findings of the researchers.
"We're not just giving back results," Grodman said. "We're building a knowledge base together."
James Crawford, North Shore-LIJ's chair of pathology and executive director of laboratory services, , added that the LLC is "designed to enable the two partners to unite the lab test information with clinical information so that both the relevance of the test information at the entry point — in essence the clinical data available at the time of testing — and very importantly, the outcomes of the patients after the testing has been used to help guide their care, can be studied for the development of knowledge and building of an evidence base so we can understand how to more effectively practice genomic medicine."
BioReference hopes to make this alliance a model for further partnerships with other health systems throughout the US and around the world — the company is currently in talks to develop other alliances in the future. It's one step in a plan to "democratize" genomics and make the science as useful to society as possible, according to Grodman.
It's also a way to prove to payors that genomic testing should be covered by insurance.
The partnership is currently set to expire after three years, though there is an option to extend the terms of the agreement depending on its success, Crawford said.