Foundation Medicine Inc., a Cambridge biotechnology company using genomics data and DNA sequencing to help doctors pinpoint treatments for cancer patients, is partnering with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to co-develop a molecular diagnostic product designed to match patients with hematologic cancers with the best treatments.
Hematologic cancers include leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, the two entities noted in a press release.
As of January, Foundation Medicine had raised nearly $100 million, including investments from Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.
“Memorial Sloan-Kettering is one of the world’s premier cancer centers with deep scientific and clinical understanding of hematologic cancers and a commitment to driving a new genomic paradigm of individualized cancer care,” Michael J. Pellini, M.D., president and chief executive of Foundation Medicine, said in a statement. “Our approach is to collaborate with leaders like Memorial Sloan-Kettering across all areas of clinical oncology and cancer genomics and seek partners who are equally committed to the changing paradigm of cancer care. This is the ideal partnership to support the development of our new product for patients with hematologic malignancies.”
Foundation Medicine was founded by a team of top-tier Boston area scientists, including Eric Lander of the Broad Institute and biotechnology entrepreneur Alexis Borisy. They were among the first to recognize the importance of understanding the human genome in developing “personalized” medicines to treat diseases.
This new test that the company is working on with Memorial Sloan-Kettering will use RNA sequencing in addition to DNA sequencing to better enable identification of the unique genes and classes of genomic alterations that are characteristic of hematologic malignancies, the press release said.