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Vanderbilt Collaborates With BioReference Labs on Tumor Sequencing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Vanderbilt University Medical Center today announced a collaboration with BioReference Laboratories for tumor profiling in cancer care.

Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, the partners will develop a next-generation sequencing panel for tumors and hematologic malignancies, aiming to make it available in 2016 for use in clinical oncology. The panel is expected to comprise more than 300 genes and will target SNPs, insertions and deletions, CNVs, and gene fusions in regions of the genome that are druggable.

"We saw a unique opportunity to connect Vanderbilt's clinical expertise with BioReference's NGS capabilities in order to develop sensitive and clinically useful genomic solutions," Mary Zutter, assistant vice chancellor for integrative diagnostics at Vanderbilt, said in a statement. BioReference Labs CEO Marc Grodman added that the collaboration would aim to "provide cost-effective testing that is able to be run on small samples."

The organizations said in a statement that their researchers would also collaborate on several other diagnostic assays. "We see unmet needs for genomic solutions in areas such as detecting drug resistance markers in plasma and panel-based minimal residual disease monitoring," BioReference Labs VP of Genomic Operations Robert Daber said.

BioReference Laboratories is a subsidiary of Opko Health.           

Last month, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center established itself as a founding member of Foundation Medicine's Precision Medicine Exchange Consortium.