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CollabRx and CellNetix join forces to provide molecular oncology testing
01-27-2014
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author
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SAN FRANCISCO—CollabRx, Inc., a data analytics company focused on informing clinical decision-making in molecular medicine, and CellNetix Pathology & Laboratories, LLC, a provider of anatomic pathology (AP) testing and services, today announced a multi-year agreement to access CollabRx technology and content resources in support of the clinical interpretation of genetic sequencing-based tests provided by CellNetix.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, CollabRx’s medical and scientific knowledge will be incorporated into the results of genetic sequencing-based tests in oncology provided by CellNetix. CellNetix will leverage CollabRx's dynamically updated knowledgebase in molecular medicine, ensuring that the latest medical and scientific data is made available to ordering physicians to aid in their interpretation of test results and inform patient treatment planning. CollabRx's knowledgebase includes the clinical impact of specific genetic profiles and is supported by its large and growing network of more than 75 leading clinical practitioners in the U.S. and Europe.
 
The partnership will leverage each company's commitment to developing cutting edge technology infrastructure and information-system applications to integrate, automate, and standardize molecular testing and reporting in oncology. These capabilities are of particular significance in the large-scale molecular analysis of tumors using clinical genetic sequencing, given the sheer volume and complexity of genetic data that is produced. While genetic sequencing-based tests are increasingly becoming an important part of the clinical management of cancer patients, the resulting explosion of data is far outpacing the ability of practicing physicians to understand how to apply this genetic data in treating their patients.
 
"CollabRx has developed a highly scalable technology platform and process to provide a key part of the diagnostic test report for clinical genetic sequencing in cancer," said Pat Cooke, CIO & executive director of business operations at CellNetix. "These IT tools and services are essential to dynamically associate the latest medical and scientific knowledge with the results of tumor mutation profiling conducted by CellNetix. We are excited to work with CollabRx to provide a best in class medical informatics solution that will enable physicians to take a tumor's molecular characteristics into consideration when determining a cancer treatment plan."
 
"CellNetix has combined peer-to-peer collaboration and clinical expertise with technological innovation to dramatically impact the delivery of healthcare by individual physicians and hospital systems," said Thomas Mika, chairman, president & CEO of CollabRx. "CollabRx is privileged to partner with CellNetix, the largest and most comprehensive pathology company in the Pacific Northwest, to link clinical genetic sequencing test results with expert-vetted therapy considerations to result in the best possible care for cancer patients."
 
The partnership with CellNetix represents CollabRx's first such relationship with a large and influential private pathology company and demonstrates the company's accelerating pace of business and channel development in 2014, the company said in a press statement. “This new milestone attests to the growing adoption of CollabRx technology and interpretive analytics in top-tier laboratories worldwide as a standard aspect of test reporting for clinical genetic sequencing in cancer and other diseases,” the company claims.
 
CellNetix, headquartered in Seattle, WA, serves hospitals and clinics throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. The company is employee-owned and has grown to its current six division, 50 pathologist size without benefit of outside venture capital. Its five-year plan is to grow to 200 staff pathologists. The company claims on its website to provide sophisticated central support, while allowing pathologists to maintain strong local relationships and autonomy. “Major consolidation within pathology is inevitable. Change is coming. There is strength in numbers,” the website states. Recently PAML, a Spokane, WA-based national clinical reference lab, joined forces with CellNetix to offer AP reference lab services to a national market.
 
CollabRx medical and scientific content is organized in a knowledgebase that expresses the relationship between genetic profiles, other aspects of the medical record (e.g., stage, prior treatments), and therapy considerations including molecular diagnostics, medical tests, clinical trials, drugs, biologics, and other information relevant for treatment planning.  Capturing how highly respected practicing physicians use this information in the clinical setting further refines the knowledgebase. Importantly, all content is dynamically updated to reflect the continual release of relevant information into the public domain.
 
At the core of the CollabRx knowledgebase are Molecular Disease Models (MDMs) incorporating the latest medical and scientific advances in genomic medicine. MDMs are developed in the spirit of fostering transparency and engendering trust, and are vetted in multiple ways. For example, MDMs and updates are developed using a collaborative approach among internal CollabRx physicians and scientific knowledge engineers, independent external advisors at prestigious academic-based teaching institutions, and professional service organizations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).  In addition, the initial release of the MDM is published in open-access peer-reviewed journals and made freely available online.
 
Keeping models such as the CollabRx Semantic Integration Platform (SIP) dynamically up-to-date can be difficult and time consuming. Doing so efficiently requires scalable solutions to extract and process large data flow, mine it for signals, execute the models, and integrate powerful guidance and recommendations into back-end databases. “That’s what our SIP accomplishes,” the CollabRx website states. “Although human experts are a critical part of the CollabRx process, humans alone can’t keep up with the tidal wave of knowledge coming out of cancer research; only computers have the ability to accurately analyze so much information at sufficient speed. But machines don’t automatically know what they’re seeing. They have to be taught what’s valuable and, equally important, what isn’t. That’s why the largest part of our SIP is an artificial intelligence system which is key to keeping the CollabRx knowledge bases at the leading edge.”
 
 
Code: E01271401

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