Pharmacogenomic services firm Gentris and the Shanghai Institutes of Preventive Medicine (SIPM) signed a memorandum of understanding for a collaboration that ultimately aims to discover, develop, and validate new genomic biomarkers through the establishment of translational research and epidemiological projects. Under terms of the collaboration Gentris will identify sponsors in the U.S., including pharma companies, for personalized medicine-focused projects, while the SIPM will look for support from Chinese organizations. A major goal is to generate a network of academic, industry, and public health collaborators to spearhead pharmacogenomics research and development.
Through the partnership, research studies and epidemiological projects will be implemented in Shanghai based on the requirements of sponsor organizations, in key target areas including oncology as well as infectious and chronic diseases. Training and education initiatives will in addition be established to bring GLP, GCP, CLIA, and CAP standards to China.
The collaboration has as its model the tuberculosis drug-induced liver injury pilot project (TB DILI Study) conducted by Gentris, SIPM, and a nonprofit research institute in Research Triangle Park. Through this trial investigators designed a common protocol and pooled resources to investigate DILI among tuberculosis patients in Shanghai hospitals, and are evaluating biomarkers for early DILI detection. Gentris is in addition establishing a satellite laboratory in Shanghai that complies with U.S. regulatory standards.
Gentris is a global provider of pharmacogenomic testing and consulting, as well as biorepository services. Co-principal investigator for the TB DILI project is Ton Zhou, M.D., senior director of China initiatives at Gentris. "I’m pleased that our collaboration with the SIPM on tuberculosis and drug-induced liver injury has grown into a broader partnership,” he comments. “Our plan is to develop new genomic biomarker projects that lead to improved treatment solutions in oncology, infectious disease, and chronic disease. Our hope is that this cooperation between the U.S. and China will advance the development of novel biomarkers.”