2020-08-18| In-DepthR&D

OneOncology Enters First-of-its-Kind Partnership with FMI to Advance Personalized Medicine at Community Oncology Practices

by Pavel Ryzhov
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Foundation Medicine, Inc. and OneOncology, a network of independent community oncology practices, announced a joint initiative that will bring precision oncology capabilities to physicians in an effort to deliver better standards of personalized treatment to patients.

By Pavel Ryzhov, Ph.D.

The movement towards personalized healthcare has been on the rise for the last several years. It is driven by an increasing realization that individual patients differ in genetics, response to medication, and social determinants, which play a pivotal role in the outcomes of disease treatments. For oncology patients, in particular, cancer genomics plays a critical role, due to the heterogeneity of patients as well as the tumors themselves [2]. The complexity of disease progression scenarios and ever-increasing diversity of treatment options puts physicians under more pressure to provide personalized care backed by real-world evidence. For other stakeholders in this process, such as diagnostics companies or service providers, it creates an opportunity to address this unmet clinical need.

The announced partnership between FMI and OneOncology will allow oncologists across 170 community oncology care sites nationwide to leverage tools such as advanced molecular insights, clinic-genomic datasets, and comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP). CGP assay is a next-generation sequencing-based technique that is able to detect all four major types of genome changes that can lead to cancer. These include base substitutions, insertions, and deletions, copy number alterations, and rearrangements [3]. Through this analysis, FMI provides an important service that matches cancer patients with relevant therapy options such as immunotherapies or experimental medicines through clinical trials.

The capabilities brought by FMI will help physicians at OneOncology to deliver appropriate treatment across multiple stages of therapy to patients. According to Lee Schwartzberg, Chief Medical Officer at OneOncology, optimizing CGP will help practitioners to “inform more personalized care” across their network while Cindy Perettie, CEO of FMI, remarked that this partnership would “provide more oncologists with high-quality tools to help inform their treatment decisions.”

The announcement also highlights that “this partnership marks a new type of collaboration,” because of the nationwide reach of the OneOncology network of providers that serve many patients in communities. Besides, the collected patient data will be used to address research and clinical knowledge gaps in terms of cancer treatments. The clinical trial design was mentioned as one of the interesting aspects of the collaboration. Brian Alexander, Chief Medical Officer at FMI, said that the “opportunity to design studies from the patients’ perspective” will create “rapid learning environments to advance patient care.” In the case of patients with complex diseases and where the standard of care is still missing, this partnership will allow “to learn and test hypothesis in new ways.”

In an era of data-driven decision making, healthcare is yet another example where access to a comprehensive dataset can provide invaluable insights. However, by accessing timely and complete genomics data for cancer patients, it means the difference between a generic therapy and a personalized medicine approach, where the latter has a much better outcome for a patient. Therefore, partnerships that address this growing demand for patient data will continue to shape the trajectory of medical interventions going forward.

Editor: Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.

Related Article: Foundation Medicine Fortifies Growing Prominence in Liquid Biopsy Space by Acquiring Lexent Bio



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