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Geisinger Partners With Indivumed for Personalized Medicine Initiative
Date:5/10/2013

DANVILLE, Pennsylvania, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Geisinger Health System announced plans to partner with Indivumed, a leading provider of services enabling individualized cancer therapy, a relationship that will afford Geisinger patients access to advanced cancer treatment and clinical trials.

"Our driving mission for nearly 100 years comes from a simple mandate, 'Make it the best,'" said Glenn D. Steele Jr. , M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Geisinger Health System. "This exciting initiative with Indivumed, a company recognized the world over as a leader in the field of biobanking and translational research, will give Geisinger patients access to the most advanced cancer therapeutics in the country, right here in central and northeastern Pennsylvania."

The collaboration will allow Indivumed staff to collect tissue, blood and urine from consenting Geisinger patients who are already undergoing a surgical tumor resection. Upon resection, a portion of the tissue, blood or urine remaining beyond what is required to make a clinical diagnosis will be banked by Geisinger through MyCode™, a repository that currently holds 43,000 patient samples. Another portion will be banked by Indivumed, which will analyze the tissue to determine its molecular and biochemical profile. That information will be used in the development and, eventually, application of targeted therapies for cancer patients.

"A comprehensive analysis of patient's individual cancers including DNA sequencing, determination of protein expression and activity of therapy relevant cancer pathways is the foundation of personalized cancer treatment," said Hartmut Juhl , M.D., chief executive officer of Indivumed. "Understanding that the donation of tissue is a deeply personal one, our work is conducted under stringent quality standards and with great care in order to quickly translate new scientific discoveries into the practice of medicine.

Based in Hamburg, Germany, Indivumed is an integrated oncology company that leverages its biorepository of human tissue samples with its diagnostic laboratory to develop individualized cancer therapies. While Indivumed is focused on tissue testing, its subsidiary Inostics is analyzing circulating tumor DNA in plasma to determine therapy relevant cancer mutations and to monitor disease. The overall goal is understanding the biological differences between tumors and how patients respond to treatments to support the implementation of personalized therapy. To this end, Indivumed maintains a biobank of tissues and annotated data from about 17,000 patients - with about 1,500 new cases added per year - each collected under exactly defined specifications.

Research demonstrates that proteins change expression profiles significantly within minutes following surgical resection. Many of those proteins might serve as biomarkers for new drugs. Therefore, controlled and rapid tissue processing is necessary for understanding biological differences of or within patient tumors, especially when developing targeted therapies. Indivumed follows highly standardized processes that enable the company to limit cold ischemia time - the time between removal of tissue from the body and the time it is preserved - to less than 10 minutes, guaranteeing tissue samples maintain their biological integrity.

"The goal of this collaboration is to translate genetic and proteomic data into specific knowledge about a disease that is clinically relevant and will enhance patient care," Dr. Steele said. "We continually strive to look for innovative opportunities to provide patients with the most advanced care modern science has to offer."

About Geisinger Health System

Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As the nation's largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 20,000 employees, including a 1,000-member multi-specialty group practice, six hospital campuses, two research centers and the 400,000-member Geisinger Health Plan, all of which leverage an estimated $5.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit http://www.geisinger.org, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook.

About Indivumed

Indivumed is a privately held biotech company focused on the generation, characterization and analysis of highly standardized biological samples from human cancer. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, with a subsidiary in Baltimore, MD, USA, Indivumed has cooperation agreements with all major oncological hospitals in the Hamburg metropolitan area, Germany, as well as with Georgetown University Hospital, and the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. Indivumed's current tumor biobank of over 17,000 patient-cases, collected with a mean cold ischemia time of less than ten minutes, serves as a resource for Indivumed's internal cancer research in biomarkers and primary cell drug screening as well as for the use of pharmaceutical and biopharma partners through tumor biobank access and a variety of services, such as e.g. Immunohistochemistry, phosphoprotein analysis and drug profiling.

Together with its subsidiary Inostics, which was founded by Indivumed and scientists from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Indivumed translates scientific knowledge to the benefit of cancer patients.

CONTACT:    
Amanda O'Rourke : +1-570-214-9091


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