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Gene Information Directly to Doctors


By Allison Proffitt 
 
August 21, 2013 | Last week, GenoSpace, PathGroup and Thomson Reuters announced an expansion of PathGroup’s SmartGenomics product to include Thomson Reuters’ information on genes, variants and therapeutic implications, and GenoSpace’s advanced analytical and information integration capabilities. 
 
PathGroup provides anatomic, clinical and molecular pathology services to medical practices and hospitals in a CLIA certified laboratory. 
 
“A physician, presumably an oncologist or general surgeon, could order a tumor profiling testing under our product SmartGenomics,” Ben Davis, PathGroup’s CEO told Bio-IT World. Tumor specimens are subjected to a whole menu of tests including traditional pathology services and chromosomal cytogenetics as well as next generation profiling panels and arrays. “Basically digital karyotyping,” Davis said. “We can offer a broad, comprehensive spectrum of diagnostic services.” 
 
What GenoSpace and Thomson Reuters  bring to the table is context for the results. 
 
“With next generation sequencing and array CGA panels, what we find today—as the number of genes that are tested expands up to 100s or 1000s, exomes and whole genomes… —here’s a massive amount of data that must be processed,” Davis said. “GenoSpace provides us with a highly sophisticated algorithmic approach to arriving at a specific variant calls as well as confirming them and putting them in the form of a reporting process that becomes the product itself. In addition, they provide a linkage to the Thomson Reuters Genomic Knowledgebase that allows us then to put the results that we’ve found through the various testing platforms in context with the individual patient and the global knowledgebase about drugs and therapeutics that are currently available.” 
 
“[PathGroup] has worked with GenoSpace and implemented a system that pulls that data together along with reference data that’s been provided by Thomson Reuters,” explained Joe Donahue, Senior vice president at Thomson Reuters Life Sciences “Out of that system comes the analysis report that will then be approved by pathologists at PathGroup, and sent back to the clinicians” 
 
The resulting report will include not only the patient’s test results, but information about drugs and therapeutics that are currently available, actionable targets in an off-label approach, or clinical trials. 
 
Davis said the service will initially be offered to existing clients in PathGroup’s market in the Midwest and Southeast, but he hopes to expand to new customers soon. “Depending upon the market response we could offer this on a national or even global basis,” he said. 
 
“This is exciting because it really is all about how we can provide more options to the clinicians and the patients with drugs that are on the market, with things that we know are in the pipeline, or existing clinical trials or trials that are shortly to get underway,” said Donahue. “Effectively it’s going to provide more options to the both the clinicians and the patient going forward… From our standpoint, it’s a great fit because of the quality and the depth that the [Thomson Reuters] data has. We think it’s a great partnership with both GenoSpace and PathGroup.”
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