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Foundation Medicine, Novartis Ink New Deal for Clinical Oncology Programs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Foundation Medicine today said it and Novartis have reached a new agreement to use Foundation's clinical grade, next-generation sequencing to support the drug firm's clinical oncology programs.

The three-year agreement builds on a 2011 deal between the firms and calls for the use of Foundation Medicine's molecular information platform across many of Novartis' Phase 1 and Phase 2 oncology clinical programs. The initial collaboration generated "very interesting" data, and this type of tumor genomic profiling has become an important part of Novartis' clinical trials, Foundation Medicine said.

Foundation Medicine's sequencing capabilities allow for the rapid analysis of hundreds of cancer-related genes from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples, and earlier this year its laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., gained Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certification. Novartis plans to use the technology to align clinical trial enrollment and outcome analysis with the genomic profile of patient tumors, accelerating the development of Novartis' portfolio of targeted cancer therapeutics and expanding treatment options for patients.

Foundation Medicine added that it may develop additional diagnostic products from the partnership.

"The comprehensive molecular assessment of Novartis' Oncology clinical trial samples is expected to help to bring potentially lifesaving therapies to the right patients more quickly, and we expect that the wealth of molecular information will help fundamentally improve the way cancer is understood and treated," Michael Pellini, president and CEO of Foundation Medicine, said in a statement.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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