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Fox Chase Cancer Center signs agreement with Life Technologies Corp.

PHILADELPHIA (June 14, 2011) Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's leading cancer research and treatment institutions, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Life Technologies Corporation that will underpin a new program to provide next-generation sequencing analysis of solid tumors. The agreement is a foundational element in the planned Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase, a facility that will foster new discoveries and treatments and establish the institution as a leader in developing personalized medicine strategies for cancer care.

"With this agreement, we are taking the next major step in delivering on the promise of personalized medicine for all cancer patients," said Michael V. Seiden, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center. "By coupling Life Technologies' leading-edge sequencing instruments with Fox Chase's broad scientific and clinical expertise, we expect to be among the leaders in advancing toward this goal."

"Efforts linking the latest genome technologies to the needs of individual patients exemplify the leadership role that Fox Chase Cancer Center plays in the search for a cancer cure," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. "Through institutions like Fox Chase, Philadelphia continues to build upon an international reputation not only as center for innovative science, but also excellence in patient care."

The Institute's focal initiative, expected to begin in late fall 2011, will be the launch of a discovery project using selected tumors, followed by an innovative clinical service to be made available to participants from throughout the United States. In this second phase, it is expected that by using Life Technologies' genomic sequencing technology, investigators will analyze a patient's tumor genome to provide his or her oncologists with additional information that can be used to guide treatment or steer the patient into appropriate new drug trials.

The broad goal of the initiative is to combine several institutional resources and a multidisciplinary team including scientists and clinicians to evaluate the ways that genomic sequencing can be used in patient management. Fox Chase clinicians will be able to assess a genomic analysis of a patient's tumor compared to their normal tissues. The service will utilize Life Technologies' sequencing and analysis platforms, including the SOLiD system, Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing, and novel biological information technology systems for analysis of genomic data. It is expected that with appropriate resources and after rigorous testing and validation studies, genome sequencing can become a broadly used diagnostic tool integrated into the standard management of patients with cancer.

"We are proud to power the innovations in cancer care that Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers and clinicians will make," said Greg Lucier, chairman and CEO of Life Technologies. "We expect this model of industry and academic collaboration to demonstrate the effectiveness of sequencing in improving patient care."

The technology will also enable the Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase to create a genomic knowledge database. With patient consent, information linking the patient's tumor genotype, the oncologist's recommendation of targeted therapy, and the patient's clinical outcome will be made available to the research and clinical oncology community at large, while protecting the identity of the patient. The database will build on Fox Chase's already substantial Biosample Repository to add a critical additional layer of new knowledge about the genetic information in individual patient tumors.

Fox Chase will also use the database to accelerate the development of new cancer treatments through collaboration with its highly regarded phase 1 clinical trials program, which tests a broad spectrum of novel cancer therapeutics in patients with advanced cancer. The genetic information to be gathered about individual patient tumors offers the possibility of transforming the way patients are recruited into cancer clinical trials of new targeted therapies.

The executive director of the Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase will be Jeff Boyd, Ph.D., senior vice president for molecular medicine at Fox Chase. The chief scientific officer for the new facility will be Dietrich A. Stephan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Institute for Individualized Health.

The Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase will be located in a new state-of-the-art facility on Fox Chase's campus, adjacent to established research and clinical programs, a location that will help facilitate its translational mission. Current facilities include a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified diagnostics environment and a well-annotated repository of tumor and tissue samples. Fox Chase is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with phase 1 and 2 trial capabilities for testing new therapies as well as proximity to many of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.


Contact: Kristin Hummel
Fox Chase Cancer Center

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