hands in protective gloves holding Liquid nitrogen cryo tube
A research scientist removes a cryotube from a liquid nitrogen cell bank. The vrial contains samples of stem cells that have frozen in the cell bank.

Indivumed said today it will provide access to its quality tissue sample and clinical and molecular data collection methods to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in order to support the drug developer’s cancer research programs. The value of the agreement was not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Indivumed will provide Regeneron with tissue samples and associated, de-identified patient information from Indivumed's existing collaboration with Geisinger Health Systems. Indivumed will collect biospecimens and clinical data from consenting patients already undergoing a surgical tumor resection.

Upon resection, a portion of the remaining tissue or blood, beyond what is required to make a clinical diagnosis, will be banked by Indivumed and made available to Regeneron and the Regeneron Genetics Center for R&D purposes.

“We believe this collaboration will better inform our oncology pipeline, bolstering our ability to bring innovative medicines to cancer patients,” Gavin Thurston, Ph.D., vice president of Oncology and Angiogenesis at Regeneron, said in a statement. “Indivumed's proprietary tumor tissue dissection, preservation process, and growing collection of high quality tumor tissues will aid Regeneron in developing better tumor models and gaining understanding of our pre-clinical oncology candidates.”

The agreement also includes terms for a biobanking collaboration to support sample collection at additional clinical sites—an effort designed to aid the partners’ efforts to further develop proprietary biobanking protocols and enable biospecimen collection that fully preserves the molecular profile of cancer patients.

Indivumed and Geisinger formally launched their partnership in 2014, a year after announcing plans.

Under that collaboration, Indivumed collects tissue, blood and urine from consenting Geisinger patients undergoing a surgical tumor resection. Upon resection, a portion of the tissue, blood or urine remaining beyond what is needed for clinical diagnosis is banked at Geisinger through its MyCode Community Health Initiative, which includes a biobank designed to store samples for research use by the health system and its partners. Another portion is banked by Indivumed, which analyzes the tissue to be used in the development and, eventually, application of targeted therapies for cancer patients.

Geisinger also partners with Regeneron Genetics Center in a collaboration designed to integrate research and clinical care. The DiscovEHR project couples high-throughput, whole-exome sequencing data with de-identified electronic health records (EHR), allowing researchers to link genetic variants to clinical phenotypes and disease diagnoses in medical records.

DiscovEHR aims to have collected DNA sequencing data from 100,000 participants by mid-2017 with an ultimate goal of 250,000 in the next three to five years.

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