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Institute Launches to Match Patients With Most Appropriate Drugs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The non-profit Transforming Medicine: The Elizabeth Kauffman Institute (TMed), which seeks to match patients with life-threatening diseases with the most appropriate treatments, officially launched today. 

Founded by Institute for Systems Biology President Lee Hood and others, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based TMed plans to develop a knowledgebase for evaluating patient information, including genetic and molecular data, to determine the best marketed and research-stage treatment for each individual. 

Researchers at the institute will develop unique algorithms that can predict the most effective therapies for difficult-to-treat ailments including pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, and sickle cell anemia, TMed said. 

The other founders of the institute include Colin Hill, CEO of GNS Healthcare; Robert Goldberg, vice president and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest; Kathleen O'Connell, a patient advocate; and Stuart Kauffman, a systems biology expert at the University of Vermont. 

The institute is named for Kauffman's wife Elizabeth who died in 2013 from pancreatic cancer. 

"We formed this institute because over half the medicines used today do not work for half the patients," Hood said in a statement. "This is particularly true for people fighting the most complex and fatal diseases. Our aim is to change the practice of medicine in a fundamental way."