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OSU, Moffitt Cancer Center Collaborate on Precision Medicine Resource

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Ohio State University's cancer institute and the Moffitt Cancer Center have launched a collaboration that will use data and samples from more than 100,000 patients to create a new resource to connect patients and physicians with precision medicine researchers.

Moffitt will team with The OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) to form the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), the partners said today.

In what OSUCCC-James and Moffitt said is the largest collaboration of its kind, ORIEN will use Moffitt's Total Cancer Care protocol to create a rapid learning environment to share de-identified patient data with scientists and physicians and speed development of new targeted treatments.

"With ORIEN, we're amassing a true national cancer database for the first time," Michael Caligiuri, director of the OSUCCC and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital, said in a statement. "The collaboration across academic centers and with healthcare industry will not only help speed discovery, but will also provide patients with more personalized treatment options and, ultimately, lead to better outcomes."

ORIEN has already received consent from more than 100,000 patients, and it will track them and other patients through their lifetimes. It will analyze data and share information with physicians about therapeutic options, including treatments in clinical trials, that target the individual patient's biological and epidemiological profile, the partners said.

Personalized medicine informatics company M2Gen, a Moffitt subsidiary, will provide the network with operational and commercial support and expertise in data management and analysis.

ORIEN also will harness resources from Moffitt's biorepository and data warehouse, as well as OSUCCC-James' experience in translating molecular and genetic discoveries into methods for detecting and treating cancer.

ORIEN will actively seek partnerships with other cancer centers, and its clinical trial matching resource may help pharmaceutical firms develop their clinical trial designs and recruitment strategies.

Working through M2Gen, scientists in industry will be able to match their targeted drugs to participating patients within ORIEN cancer center member institutions based on the individual's molecular profiles, the collaborators said.

"M2Gen will facilitate what we view as the ideal way to conduct cancer research and help patients – an approach that promotes collaborative learning at all levels," M2Gen CEO William Dalton said.

Moffitt CEO Alan List said many potential cancer breakthroughs "have been stalled because we've lacked an efficient way to share incremental insights," but ORIEN will be "a cancer research expressway" that links and matches patients to clinical researchers and ongoing studies around the country.