As a key step toward providing patients with treatments based on their own DNA profiles, the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) and the University of Michigan have launched a new joint venture that will help usher in an age of personalized medicine.
Called Paradigm, the new nonprofit company brings together the expertise of IGC and the U-M Health System, two leaders in using genetic information to understand and treat disease.
Beginning with cancer and then extending into other disease groups, Paradigm will offer doctors and health care organizations anywhere access to whole gene and multi-gene sequencing and molecular diagnostics. The company will also help support clinical trials at UMHS and other healthcare systems.
Paradigm is being formed under the Michigan Health Corporation, the part of UMHS that enables outside partnerships. The company will have a presence in Phoenix and Ann Arbor.
“Paradigm builds on our ever-increasing understanding of the interplay of multiple disease-causing genes and how this affects sensitivity to specific treatment regimens,” says Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., the chief executive officer and co-founder of Paradigm and IGC, which was formed by veteran genetic researchers and played a key role in compiling The Cancer Genome Atlas, a catalog of genes known to be involved in cancer. “We will bring our expertise to bear to create true personalized medicine options for clinicians and their patients.”
“We’re thrilled to take this important step that allows us to harness the power of genetic information to guide patient therapy and improve outcomes,” says Jay Hess, M.D. Ph.D., M.H.S.A.,chair of the Department of Pathology at the U-M Medical School and a co-founder of Paradigm. “IGC has a proven track record of bringing molecular diagnostics to market, yet shares our nonprofit patient-focused vision.”
“Through this new venture, we will continue our leadership role supporting and translating cutting edge medical research to improve patient care,” said David Mallery, J.D., M.B.A., the president and co-founder of Paradigm and IGC.
Initially, Paradigm will focus on offering services to oncologists and oncology groups, pathologists, academic medical centers and clinical trial groups studying personalized medicine regimens. Its first products will be especially of use in better tailoring treatments for cancer patients.
“The International Genomics Consortium played a pivotal role in ushering in Arizona’s bioscience initiative in 2002 and has continued to be a leader in the industry. Over the years, IGC has provided Arizona with federal research grants, successful commercial ventures, and high-quality jobs while contributing to the advancement of human medicine,” said Jack B. Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. “This collaboration among two outstanding national institutions demonstrates Arizona’s leadership in molecular medicine and is a testament to both IGC’s and Arizona’s stature in the biosciences nationally.”
“With the University of Michigan Health System as our partner in Paradigm, IGC strengthens its revolutionary role in gene-based research, making our country more competitive internationally and keeping Maricopa County at the forefront of personalized medicine,” said Richard Mallery, Founding Chair of IGC.