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URMC Inks Deal With Indivumed to Create Cancer Tissue Bank

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The University of Rochester Medical Center announced today that it has signed a three-year collaboration agreement with German personalized cancer services company Indivumed to create a bank of human tissue and tumor samples for use in cancer research.

The goal of the program, which starts immediately, is to collect high-quality tumor specimens and tissue samples and preserve them with protocols designed to support genomic analysis, URMC said in a statement. The medical center will gather samples of pancreatic, colorectal, lung, and breast cancers from patients who consent to having their samples banked for research purposes. Further, the tissue bank will include information that correlates with patient survival, response to treatment, and whether the tumor was resistant to certain therapies.

"Collecting and properly preserving human tissue is critically important to cancer research, but it's difficult to fund and requires a specialized set of skills and expertise to build such a program," David Linehan, director of clinical operations at URMC's Wilmot Cancer Institute and supervising investigator for the URMC-Indivumed partnership, said in the statement.

Indivumed has signed similar agreements with other medical centers and health systems in the past, including at least two with the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania in 2013 and 2014.

"This partnership allows us to engage in precision medicine in a much more substantive way," said Stephen Dewhurst, vice dean for research at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry. "Indivumed is a world-class operation and is very interested in collaborating with our researchers to drive innovation. By participating in the Indivumed global network, we’ll have access to a critical mass of biological samples and clinical data for use in unique clinical trials for our community."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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