(PITTSBURGH and DANVILLE, Pa). – Cernostics Inc., a biotechnology firm specializing in advanced cancer diagnostics, and Geisinger Health System, a $2.1 billion integrated health services organization, today announced a partnership in personalized healthcare. They will focus on developing diagnostic technologies that are based on detecting differences in the cellular and molecular make up of patient tissue samples. These technologies promise to more effectively predict disease progression and identify patients who are most likely to be receptive to specific cancer treatments.
Predictive and preventive, this personalized healthcare approach to cancer screening and treatment – utilizing multiplexed fluorescence microscopy and imaging technology – holds great potential to produce better, safer and more cost-effective results. It takes disease screening and treatment away from a “one size fits all” approach to emphasize an understanding of disease diversity and subtypes and, as a result, more effectively predict patients who will most likely benefit from specific cancer treatments, helping to avoid treatment without benefit and unnecessary costs.
The partnership combines Cernostics’ technological expertise in digital pathology and advanced tissue-based diagnostics with Geisinger’s robust, well-annotated MyCode™ biorespository and tumor bank, which is linked to its advanced electronic health records.
The agreement includes access to research pathology space, pathology expertise, and a clinical test bed to create and validate clinically driven pathology solutions. In addition, Geisinger clinical pathologists, oncologists and researchers will gain Cernostics’ expertise in sophisticated tissue microscopy. By optimizing their respective resources, the partnership will focus on developing cancer diagnostic tests that promise to increase the accuracy and speed of results, decrease costs, assess the safety of traditional cancer treatments and spur the creation of new cancer treatments.
“The very broad collaboration with Geisinger will provide a strong clinical drive to Cernostics. Our combined strengths put us in a unique position to address improvements in cancer patient diagnostics while at the same time integrating this new molecular-level information into a digital workflow of pathology and electronic health records. Support from Novitas and the Pittsburgh Life Science Greenhouse will provide funding for these important projects,” explained Michel Nederlof, Ph.D., President and Chief Technology Officer at Cernostics.
“Cernostics’ technology allows for the innovation and improvement of cancer pathology and diagnosis-not possible until now. This unique combination of Cernostics’ technology and key Geisinger assets will lead to greater innovation supporting Geisinger’s vision for personalized healthcare,” noted Mike Hoerres, CEO, Cernostics, and Principal, Geisinger Ventures.
As part of this agreement, Cernostics completed a Series A financing round led by Novitas Capital (Wayne, Pa.), Geisinger Health System and the Pittsburgh Life Science Greenhouse (PLSG, Pittsburgh).
“Cernostics was founded as a spin-off of Cellumen Inc. in 2008 to apply predictive science to tissue-based diagnostics using panels of fluorescence-labeled biomarkers and informatics. We are pleased to join forces with Geisinger Health System, Novitas Capital and Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse,” noted D. Lansing Taylor, Ph.D., CEO of Cellumen Inc. and Chairman of Cernostics.