FORT MYERS, Fla.—In the ongoing crusade against cancer, genetics testing service NeoGenomics Inc. and tissue phenomics pioneer Definiens have joined forces to set their sights on developing and automating the analysis of new biomarker assays for clinical trials and routine clinical testing. Both companies’ leaders believe the new partnership could lead to groundbreaking diagnostics, more precise patient profiles and new insights into novel therapies and treatment strategies.
NeoGenomics brings to the table one of the most comprehensive oncology-focused testing menus in the world in helping physicians diagnose and treat cancer, while Definiens’ mission is to accelerate breakthroughs by helping scientists leverage tissue phenomics and deepen the understanding of disease biology, immune system mechanisms and multi-omics data.
In the agreement, announced March 13, Definiens stands poised to provide automated quantitative biomarker solutions to support NeoGenomics’ immunohistochemistry services for both its pharma service customers and clinical clients and help improve pathology interpretation, to standardize analyses and identify the signature for optimal biomarkers. NeoGenomics, in turn, will continue to provide custom-developed immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays to be used in clinical trials, companion diagnostics and clinical testing. Automated IHC workflows, quantification and interpretation tools remove a variability of pathology scoring criteria, thus giving researchers a higher level of analytical consistency.
“Continual innovation and automation of our testing services help us provide increasingly more efficient and effective services for our clients,” Douglas VanOort, chairman and CEO for NeoGenomics, states in a news release.
“Our relationship with Definiens has allowed us to further automate some of our important immunohistochemistry services for clinical trials and for clinical testing, and we are looking forward to leveraging this relationship further,” VanOort says. “NeoGenomics is committed to being a leader in innovation, and to providing the most advanced and highest-quality testing services for all of our pharmaceutical and clinical clients.”
Thomas Heydler, CEO at Definiens, states, “Our products and services support the development of new assays for clinical trials to help answer the most relevant questions in drug development. Definiens’ unique solutions also play a key role in helping to make clinical decisions with interpretation of lab developed tests.”
Thomas Colarusso, vice president of business development and strategy at Definiens, adds, “We expect Definiens’ tissue phenomics solutions will provide strategic value and new insights for existing and novel esoteric biomarker tests that NeoGenomics will use in both routine clinical assays and in clinical trials.”
Colarusso told DDNnews, “This is the first frame agreement established with NeoGenomics. The former agreements were executed with a company they acquired called Clarient, a General Electric healthcare company.”
The financials for the agreement “are not being disclosed and are considered confidential,” according to Colarusso. “This is a multiyear agreement which provides NeoGenomics access to Definiens’ core tissue phenomics platform products including Server XD and Custom IHC Quantitate Biomarker Applications (algorithms) used for scoring patient biopsies/specimens and tissue studio used to quantify clinical research tissue samples from oncology and immuno-oncology trials.”
This agreement “ensures NeoGenomics has the tools and solutions to better serve their community of clients (pathologists, oncologists, translational scientists) who understand the benefits and value of quantitative pathology and biomarker solutions to make more informed decisions with the patient samples they are evaluating and the clinical trials they are analyzing,” Colarusso notes, capabilities he says help NeoGenomics to be more competitive in an evolving market by enabling the realization of improvements in both laboratory workflow efficiency and economics, complementing their clinical and lab expertise.
Furthermore, the agreement “supports ongoing daily use of Definiens for diagnostics, used to support NeoGenomics pathology scoring for broad range of IHC biomarkers including breast panel,” Colarusso says. “The agreement also supports ongoing clinical oncology and immuno-oncology trials for leading pharma companies.”
The long-term goal of this agreement is “to ensure that through the combined offering of NeoGenomics’ state-of-the-art wet lab services and clinical pathology expertise, and Definiens’ market-leading image analysis and its deeper understanding of the biology related to patients' tissue profile, both can help guide future therapeutic treatment,” he concludes.