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WIN Consortium Gets $3.9M to Launch International Personalized Cancer Treatment Trials

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The WIN Consortium, an International personalized medicine initiative, will use €3 million ($3.9 million) in funding from the European Union to launch an effort to provide tailored cancer treatment regimens to patients based on genetic analysis, the consortium said today.

In the new WIN Therapeutics (WINTHER) project, the consortium members will use an algorithm-based bioinformatics tool to examine DNA and RNA data from dual biopsies of tumors and normal tissues from each patient and to provide patients with a score to predict the efficacy of their treatments.

The WINTHER project's technology partners include Agilent Technologies, Foundation Medicine, Ariana Pharma, and Ben Gurion University, and the pharmaceutical firms Pfizer, Novartis, and Millennium have committed additional funding to the project.

The clinical trials will be conducted at six WIN Consortium member centers, including the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Institut Gustave Roussy, in France; Vall d'Hebron, in Spain; Chaim Sheba, in Israel; the Segal Cancer Center, in Canada; and the University of California, San Diego Cancer Center.

The partners will study biopsies from tumors and matched normal tissue and will look at RNA and microRNAs for patients that have actionable mutations or DNA alterations. They plan to assess the differences between normal and tumor tissues and provide relevant drug-target gene matches, with the aim of improving treatments for the individuals involved in the trial and to help develop drugs that are in the early stages of development.

The consortium has already begun enrolling patients in three of the participating countries, and it expects the study will be completed in 2015.