A Medical Device Daily

HP (Palo Alto, California) and Partners HealthCare (Boston) reported the extension of a five-year, multi-million dollar agreement to develop software and implement hardware and services supporting Partners' efforts to accelerate clinical genomics and advance personalized medicine.

This phase of the collaboration focuses on extending Partners' technology infrastructure, especially data storage capabilities, to address the challenges posed by sequencing technologies. The increase in genetic and genomic data output from these sequencing technologies will require a cost-effective, high-performance computing storage environment.

"To turn the vision of personalized medicine into reality requires the convergence of IT, research and healthcare," said John Glaser, chief information officer, Partners HealthCare. "We believe the vision of personalized medicine, where clinicians are able to make diagnostic, treatment and clinical management decisions based on a patient's genetic profile, can only be realized by leveraging IT infrastructure that can keep pace with the fast rate of change in the genomics field. The Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM) is uniquely positioned to deliver the promise of personalized medicine."

HP and Partners' collaboration builds upon a five-year relationship that has led to the development of a large multi-cluster computer facility to support genetics researchers at Partners HealthCare.

This infrastructure allowed HP and PCPGM to collaborate on the creation of the Gateway for Integrated Genomics-Proteomics Application and Data, a software environment that integrates disparate laboratory systems, provides a portal to submit and access biological samples and enables efficient management of analytical workflows and data repositories.

"As a result of this collaboration, we have been able to make genetic and genomic technologies more accessible for our researchers as well as our clinicians," said Sandy Aronson, executive director, Information Technology, PCPGM. "Now we will build support for the new forms of sequencing and genotyping that will accelerate the advancement of personalized medicine. It is exciting to envision the benefits that will accrue."

In other agreements/contracts news:

• Pfizer (New York) and Bausch & Lomb (B&L; Rochester, New York) reported a co-promotion agreement involving both companies' prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in the U.S. The agreement will allow both companies to greatly increase the level of eye care industry support for the medications that treat serious ophthalmic conditions. Both the Pfizer and B&L sales forces will promote Xalatan, Alrex, Lotemax, Zylet and besifloxacin (subject to FDA approval).

• PDI (Saddle River, New Jersey) and Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine (SCMM; San Diego) reported that PDI has been selected to provide the sales infrastructure to launch and commercialize SCMM's noninvasive prenatal genetic screening tests based on its SEQureDx technology.

Under the direction of SCMM management, PDI will support the commercialization of SCMM's fetal Rhesus D genotyping test from a maternal blood sample. This test will reduce the risk to the mother and fetus by providing clinicians early and accurate information. PDI will also provide sales support to SCMM upon commercialization of its noninvasive Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) test which is expected to be launched in June of this year, as well as other laboratory developed tests.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

• Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) has signed a collaboration agreement with Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) related to LabCorp's Biorepository in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The deal focuses on the operation of the facility, as well as the management of samples deposited by Duke University, and its clients and collaborators, including samples from the MURDOCK study, which is applying technologies to identify genomic linkages across major chronic diseases and disorders.

"The Biorepository is an important addition to LabCorp's biomarker development capabilities and our service offerings for our commercial clients," said David King, CEO of LabCorp. "The Biorepository is also an important addition to our long standing relationship with Duke University and a new initiative for LabCorp at NCRC. The combined capabilities of our organizations through the Biorepository will further our leadership in personalized medicine and will lead to new discoveries and new diagnostic tests that will benefit patient care."

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