Source: © rob3000/Fotolia
Source: © rob3000/Fotolia

Selah Genomics, a subsidiary of EKF Diagnostics, entered an 18 month collaboration with Greenville Health System (GHS), DecisionQ, and Becton Dickinson and Company (BD). The goal of the alliance is to unite clinical annotations with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and artificial intelligence-based algorithms in hope of improving clinical decision making for the treatment of colon cancer, according to the organizations.

Selah will utilize its PrecisionPath™ NGS technology to determine the genetic profiles of tumor samples provided by GHS’ Institute for Translational Oncology Research. The company said the samples, from colon cancer patients with known outcomes, will be provided with full clinical annotation. DecisionQ will employ its machine-learning platform to integrate genetic profile data with clinical annotations to produce a model of a clinical decision support tool. Funding for the research project is being provided in part by BD in return for the first opportunity to license the technology if the collaboration is successful. A clinical trial is planned to validate the research and affirm the effectiveness of the new system. After proving the value for colon cancer, EKF and Selah said they plan to continue to evaluate similar models on other sites of origin.

“This initial collaboration will demonstrate the power of a new generation of personalized medicine decision support tools for oncologists, starting with a particular focus on empowering oncologists treating colon cancer patients in the community-based setting,” said Michael Bolick, CEO, Selah Genomics. “Leveraging particular contributions from each of our partners, we have a unique opportunity to fast track our development timelines across an array of targets.”

U.K. based EKF Diagnostics bought Selah Genomics in April 2014 as part of a deal worth up to $75 million. Selah has a history of collaborating with GHS in oncology research. Three years ago, the company established a lab at GHS’ Institute for Translational Oncology Research to implement PrecisionPath in a clinical setting.

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