Scientists shaking hands outside greenhouses
Scientists shaking hands outside greenhouses

Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the largest university-based clinic in Europe and one of Germany’s most research-intensive institutions, has become the third member of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Companion Dx Center of Excellence Program (COEP). The program seeks to accelerate clinical research into oncology and immuno-oncology by developing and validating NGS-based cancer diagnostics.

“The Institute of Pathology at the Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin is very motivated to support the development and implementation of new approaches for identifying molecular characteristics as a basis for precision medicine,” said Professor Michael Hummel, Dr. rer. nat., Institute of Pathology at Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, in a press release. “We are at the beginning of an exciting new era, and this partnership represents an important component to expedite the application of new assays for the benefit of patient care.”

Hummel will lead research studies on Thermo Fisher’s Oncomine immuno-oncology and liquid biopsy assays and sequencing platforms. Like other member of the program, Hummel and his team will look to further refine Oncomine and associated technologies, with the goal of eventually introducing them into clinical use as companion diagnostics. Data from studies conducted by COEP members are also intended to be published and shared with the broader scientific community.

With more than 300 years of distinguished history and many Nobel Prize winners, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin’s 300-year history has included a number of Nobel Prize winners, and today builds on its heritage of working to improve current technologies to advance patient care. Its molecular diagnostics unit currently offers Thermo Fisher’s amplicon-based NGS for patient care and has treated many thousands of cancer patients based on tumor molecular profiles. In addition, the research hospital collaborated with Thermo Fisher on its immuno-oncology products including Immune Response, Immune Repertoire, and TML (tumor mutational load) assays.

“Thermo Fisher Scientific continues to make strides to partner with leaders in medical oncology to deliver the best Oncomine testing and companion diagnostic products for pharmaceutical and hospital customers,” said Joydeep Goswami, president of clinical NGS and oncology for Thermo Fisher Scientific, in a prepared statement. “Our growing partnerships with NGS Center of Excellence members underscore our commitment to bring cutting-edge technology to improve patient care.”

Charité joins Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel, and the Institute of Pathology Heidelberg in the COEP, which was officially launched in April 2017.

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