Two Arizona-based research institutions have partnered in a venture to develop diagnostic techniques and treatments for cancer.
Ventana Medical Systems Inc. and Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have combined forces to research and develop cancer diagnostic biomarkers, with a hope to exploiting these to improve cancer diagnostic techniques and to determine personalized treatment plans for patients. The partnership shall initially investigate biomarkers of pancreatic cancer, in a hope to improve the bleak outcome for sufferers of this disease – a statistic denoted mainly to the lack of diagnostic markers and efficacious therapies of the disease.
Ventana lead innovation in cancer studies, with primary focuses on the development of biopsy-based diagnostic tests, as well as offering workflow solutions to improve laboratory efficiency. TGen are a non-profit organisation who depend on funding and collaborations with other companies to access technology and further expand their expertise. TGen focus their research around “advances from the Human Genome Project”, and translate variations of human genes into explanations of underlying causes and resistance to cancers.
“TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research, where investigators discover the genetic components of disease,” states Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director of TGen. “Our goal is to rapidly translate basic research findings into actionable targets. Partnering with Ventana we hope will accelerate our goal to deliver meaningful discoveries to cancer patients today.”
“When a patient is faced with cancer, getting an accurate diagnosis quickly is the most important part of their treatment,” says Mara Aspinall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ventana. “As the global leader in tissue-based cancer diagnostics, our strength is moving research into the clinic in order to improve the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer. We are thrilled to be able to pursue this with a partner right in our Arizona backyard.”
The aims of the collaboration between Ventana and TGen are predicted to create a diagnostic technique exploiting histological analyses of biopsies enabling earlier detection of cancers (with a primary focus on pancreatic cancer), and treatment whereby efficient and effective conversion a patient’s genomic elements produces individualized and efficacious treatments.