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HudsonAlpha to Provide Sequencing Services for ORIEN Cancer Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology has signed an agreement to provide genomic sequencing services for the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) Avatar Research program.

The Avatar program — developed by health informatics firm M2Gen and Takeda Pharmaceutical — is based on ORIEN's Total Cancer Care Protocol, which aims to study cancer patients throughout their lifetimes. The program provides a forum for patients, physicians, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to collaborate on developing more effective cancer treatments and to match patients to clinical trials based on genomic and other data. 

Under the terms of the agreement, researchers in HudsonAlpha's Genomic Service Laboratory will perform whole-exome and RNA-sequencing of 20,000 patient tumor and non-tumor samples by 2019. ORIEN member institutions and the Avatar program's pharmaceutical partners will use this information to develop targeted therapies and launch new clinical trials, the partners said.

"The ORIEN Avatar Research Program represents a collaborative space within the healthcare community to drive new discoveries and shorten clinical development timelines by proactively matching patients to trials," M2Gen Founder and CEO William Dalton said in a statement. "The sequencing capabilities and expertise of HudsonAlpha will help accelerate the process, creating more options for patients and a more effective means to drive the development of life-saving treatments."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ORIEN was founded in 2014 by Moffitt Cancer Center and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Its roster of member centers includes Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. More recent entrants include University of Virginia Cancer Center, and University of Colorado Cancer Center.