UC San Francisco and Quest Diagnostics Launch Collaboration to Advance the Field of Precision Medicine
The collaboration, which combines the research discoveries and capabilities of UCSF with the national testing database and technical and clinical development capability of
Under the terms of the agreement, scientists will jointly research, develop and validate diagnostic innovations to solve specific clinical problems and provide actionable information to improve patient care. The organizations will focus on diagnostics to advance precision medicine, an emerging field of medical science that aims to integrate the most informative data from molecular, clinical, population and other research to create predictive, preventive and precise medical solutions for patients.
Researchers will utilize laboratory-based diagnostics, imaging procedures and population analysis based on Quest's national Health Trends database, the largest private clinical database in the U.S., based on more than 1.5 billion patient encounters, to advance precision medicine.
The alliance is the first master agreement that
"Advances in technology and science have identified many promising opportunities to improve outcomes through insights revealed by novel diagnostic solutions, yet fulfilling the full potential of these opportunities often hinges on translational clinical studies which validate their value," said
The collaboration is launching with two specific projects already underway. One project involves Quest's national database of molecular testing data to facilitate participation in research and development efforts related to genetic variations of autism, based on Quest's CGH microarray ClariSure™ technology, which can help identify genetic mutations associated with autism and other developmental disorders. While there currently is no treatment for autism, a test that aids its diagnosis could help identify individuals who might be appropriate candidates for research studies that could lead to future therapies.
The second project aims to identify biomarkers to determine which children with glioma brain tumors may benefit from a drug that is currently available to treat the disease. That project will integrate molecular biomarker testing with advanced MRI imaging technologies. This project is the first phase of larger collaborative studies to develop and validate integrated care pathways, which would include laboratory diagnostics, imaging data and other clinical information to be used in the management of patients with brain cancer and neurological diseases.
UCSF has been at the forefront of the movement toward precision medicine, for which former UCSF Chancellor
"There are many diagnostics projects underway at UCSF for which Quest could partner and contribute a great deal of value in turning an isolated research project into a diagnostic service or other technology that directly benefits patients," said
The alliance will further combine UCSF's early-stage research with
"Quest's science and innovation strategy is focused on accelerating the introduction of clinically meaningful diagnostic solutions that aid the management of the individual patient across a continuum of care, promoting better outcomes," said Dr. Wohlgemuth. "UCSF's leadership in precision medicine and translational research makes it imminently well suited to help us advance this strategy, and we look forward to collaborating on new patient-centered precision diagnostics based on clinical, molecular and population research. A holistic approach to patient management – informed by diagnostic insights -- will promote better decision making, more favorable outcomes and ultimately a healthier world."
UCSF is the nation's leading university exclusively focused on health. It is dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-tier hospitals,
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