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PNRI, Indivumed to Collaborate on Personalized Cancer Treatments

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle, Washington, and German oncology research company Indivumed have agreed to collaborate on a project that will combine molecular and clinical data to develop new treatments for cancer patients.

Specifically, researchers in the laboratory of PNRI computational biologist David Galas will receive access to Indivumed's cancer database and its biobank. These resources contain more than 4.5 million biological data points associated with over 600,000 discrete tumor, blood, and urine samples obtained from more than 25,000 cancer patients, the partners said. According to Indivumed, the repository includes whole-genome gene expression data, expression information from cancer relevant proteins, and offers tools for integrating molecular, biological, and clinical data.

Under the terms of the agreement with Indivumed, PNRI researchers will use a proprietary computational method that they have developed for analyzing RNA profiles and other datasets to explore the information contained in Indivumed's repository, the partners said.

"Accessing Indivumed's global cancer database is a great opportunity for us to better understand how all the pieces of a cancer patient's biology fit together by detecting complex dependencies in this extensive data set," Galas said in a statement. "Understanding the biology of cancer from the patient data will provide invaluable insight into various cancers and how to treat it in the most precise manner."

Indivumed Founder and CEO Hartmut Juhl added that the partnership would help his company and its other research partners "better understand the complexity of cancer" as well as "translate their specific targets and biomarkers in the context of the clinical world of cancer."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.