March 7, 2002
Genomics Collaborative Inc.
Michael Pellini, M.D.
Bridging the Genotype-Phenotype Gap
What is the history of your organization’s involvement in life science?
Pellini: Even in the public domain, there is a wealth of genetic data available, but how much is currently linked to clinical data or outcomes? A trivial amount. In essence, the genome exists, but no one has succeeded in linking the genome to clinical phenotype in a robust fashion, which is a necessary step when talking about drug or diagnostic development. In early 1998, Genomics Collaborative (GCI) was founded to address this issue. We have taken direct aim at breaking through this bottleneck to bridge the gap between raw genotypic data and phenotypic data.
What is your vision for the development in the life sciences market?
Pellini: My motivation stems from my experience as a physician and a CEO. My goal is to deliver a significant return to our investors while delivering on the promise of ultimately improving the lives of patients. The genomics industry has an opportunity to forever change the face of medicine, and I believe GCI is perfectly positioned to play a critical role.
As for the future of life sciences, we are starting to see it. Patients and physicians are becoming educated on their own diseases, and they are demanding the latest advances in medicine. Patients are going to demand better diagnostics and better drugs; they believe our industry can deliver for them. The life sciences market will continue to focus on meeting their expectations. We’ll see more and improved diagnostics ultimately driving therapeutics that are more patient-specific.
What organizational assets have you developed to serve this community?
Pellini: To address the genotype-phenotype gap, GCI has developed Global Repository, an unparalleled, large-scale resource of appropriately consented clinical research material, including human DNA, sera, and snap-frozen tissue samples, linked to detailed medical information collected from patient populations worldwide. The Company has prospectively enrolled over 100,000 patients in Global Repository and has focused on such high value therapeutic areas as cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, metabolic disorders, various cancers, and other disease states.
What products and services does your company provide to the life sciences market?
Pellini: First and foremost, GCI has developed a discovery engine that integrates many different pieces of the puzzle. From a discovery standpoint, we offer the ability to conduct a comprehensive genomics research program in multiple therapeutic areas. We are positioned to attack a disease state by simultaneously looking at large numbers of geographically diverse and well phenotyped clinical specimens. We’ll explore them from a genomics level and link that information to RNA expression and even proteomic data to develop a thorough understanding of the pathway.
There are also several services we offer to the marketplace. The two most notable are GCI AccessTM and Commercial DNA and tissue banking. GCI Access facilitates target discovery and validation by allowing researchers’ access to Global Repository. The DNA Banking services free up large pharma and biotech companies to concentrate on discovery while we collect, process and store the samples they need.
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