Clinical OMICS

JAN-FEB 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 33 of 47

32 Clinical OMICs January/February 2017 Data & Informatics Invitae, a rising star in medical genet- ics testing, announced its recent acquisition of AltaVoice, previously branded as PatientCrossRoads. "The AltaVoice team is a leader in the rare disease patient engagement network business," praised Invitae's President and COO, Sean George. Since its for- mation in 2007, AltaVoice has devel- oped programs for over 400 different genetic diseases and works with more than 100 advocacy groups and 75,000 patients. The acquisition will expand Invi- tae's own patient engagement effort, Genome Network, which connects patients, clinicians, advocacy groups, and pharmaceutical companies. The network serves to advance drug research and decrease time-to-market for new therapies by allowing patients to share genetic and phenotypic infor- mation with advocacy groups and pharmaceutical researchers, while also helping to enroll qualified individuals in clinical trials. "Combined, we're a really powerful force to provide a unified, coordinated solution for patients, advocacy groups, and biopharma partners," George says about the combined efforts of the two companies. Under the terms of the sale, Invitae all outstanding shares of AltaVoice's stock for an upfront payment of $5 million in Invitae common stock, with an additional $10 million in stock pay- able over the next two years depen- dent on reaching future milestones. Invitae hopes the acquisition will attract more partnerships to the com- pany, similar to its relationship with biopharmaceutical company BioM- arin. BioMarin has agreed to pay for genetic testing through Invitae to identify children who could benefit from a drug they developed to com- bat a form of childhood epilepsy with specific genetic underpinnings. Both BioMarin and Invitae plan to work with pediatric neurologists to promote the notion that children who meet the specific genetic criteria undergo the genetic test free-of-charge. "Our mission is to make sure that everyone who could benefit from genetic information can have access to it," said George. In its attempt to move genetic testing "from downstream to main- stream" medical care, three-year-old Invitae has gone from intitial commer- cialization to potentially becoming the number one genetic testing company in the world within the next two years. "It's astonishing," notes George, "but I think it's a sign of both where tech- nology is rapidly changing the land- scape of genetics, and a testament to what is resonating with clinicians and patients."—Meghaan Ferreira Illumina to Integrate Watson for Genomics into BaseSpace Sequence Hub IBM Watson Health and Illumina have announced a partnership designed to help standardize genomic interpretation by integrating Watson for Genomics into Illumina's BaseSpace Sequence Hub and tumor-sequencing process. The partnership will focus on inter- preting the data of its TruSight Tumor 170 profiling panel, that detects a compre- hensive set of variants across 170 genes. The inclusion of Watson for Genomics into Illumina's NGS platform will allow researchers to have rapid access to infor- mation to help interpret the variant data. "To enable precision cancer medicine on a large scale, we need new tools to overcome the data barriers of genomic research," says Francis deSouza, president and CEO of Illumina. "With a comprehen- sive assay of Illumina and the power of Watson, we hope to deliver a rapid turn- around of the genomic alteration results." I n combination with I llumina's sequencing technologies, Watson for Genomics will read the genetic alteration files then query professional guidelines, medical literature, clinical trials compen- dia, and other sources of knowledge to provide information for each genomic alteration, and produce a report for use by researchers. It promises to shorten this process, one that can take a week or more to complete, to mere minutes. The Watson for Genomics software will be available to support Illumina's Tru- Sight Tumor 170 assay early in 2017. n (continued from previous page) Invitae Strengthens Patient Engagement Efforts with AltaVoice Purchase SergeyNivens / Getty Images

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