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GEN News Highlights : Apr 15, 2010

Foundation Medicine Set Up to Bring Genomic-Based Cancer Tests into Routine Clinical Use

New firm scored $25 million in a Series A funding round.

A new personalized cancer therapy company Foundation Medicine has been established with $25 million in funding from a Series A financing led by Third Rock Ventures. Foundation is focused on developing clinical laboratory tests that capture the relevant genomic and other molecular information in an individual patient’s cancer and connect it with a knowledgebase of relevant clinical data to help determine the right treatment for individual patients.

Foundation Medicine notes that this ability to make informative tumor-related genetic and molecular features accessible and interpretable in a routine diagnostic setting will be essential to speed the advent of true personalized cancer therapy.

“Technology is now advancing to where it is becoming possible to analyze a patient’s particular tumor comprehensively to map its specific root cause,” comments Alexis Borisy, founding CEO. However, he adds, “currently, no mechanism exists whereby clinicians, in the day-to-day practice of clinical oncology, can systematically obtain tumor information and efficiently interpret the specific molecular alterations associated with each patient’s disease.”

Foundation Medicine aims to bridge this gap through the development of clinical laboratory tests using next-generation sequencing and other state-of-the-art technologies. “Through Foundation Medicine, we are extending the groundbreaking sequencing and analytical work being done at leading academic centers and in the laboratories of researchers around the world to improve outcomes for cancer patients,” continues Matthew Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D., one of the new company’s founding academic advisers. “Foundation Medicine is to deliver high-quality products that address this growing medical need in a comprehensive manner.”