RPCI Center for Personalized Medicine established with CTG serving as its technology partner
ALBANY — Jan. 31 — Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that a strategic biotechnology project in Western New York, initially funded through the Regional Economic Development Councils, is expanding successfully, leveraging additional private investments for further growth and strengthening the regional economy. The Center for Personalized Medicine (CPM), an extension of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), has leveraged $18.5 million in additional investments from an initial State investment of $5.1 million. The new Center treats cancer patients with personalized medical care and also creates a resource that scientists and medical providers can use for applications across the spectrum of clinical care, to the benefit of healthcare consumers all over the United States.
"New York State has proved today that recognizing and investing in each region's unique resources and strengths leads us to economic growth," Governor Cuomo said. "Western New York has a thriving health and life sciences industry cluster, which the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and Roswell Park Cancer Institute recognized. Through the Regional Council process, they created a custom-tailored plan to take advantage of this opportunity, which will rebuild the regional economy."
Roswell Park Cancer Institute received $5.1 million in State assistance for this project through the Western New York Regional Council in December 2011. A centerpiece of the Governor's strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Councils were put in place in 2011 to redesign the state's approach to economic development from a top-down model to a community-based, performance-driven approach. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs and support economic growth.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, "I commend the members of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council for their countless hours and dedication in determining what strategies fit this region best. Together with Governor Cuomo, we have traveled to every region of the state to discuss these plans with local communities and now we are witnessing the incredible results of job creation and economic growth. I congratulate Roswell Park Cancer Institute for its success and look forward to continued statewide Regional Economic Development Council progress and future life science initiatives."
The new Center in Buffalo represents the region’s first resource for next-generation gene sequencing to meet federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) standards. In addition to the $5.1 million received from the State, RPCI has invested $16 million in equipment and infrastructure. Computer Task Group, a national leader in healthcare information technology, has pledged another $2.5 million toward the Center. Additional collaborators include the University at Buffalo, IMMCO Diagnostics and Western New York Urology Associates LLC.
The combination of high-throughput and personal gene sequencers in the Center, along with its dedicated 1,600-processor supercomputing cluster, will allow RPCI and its collaborators to analyze individual genomes—a person’s unique genetic code, representing the full set of DNA that we inherit from our parents—shedding light on key factors that drive medical care.
"We now have the ability to do robust, 'next-generation' gene sequencing on blood and tissue samples, with tremendous possibilities in terms of what we can learn diagnostically, prognostically, therapeutically," says Candace Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director of Roswell Park and co-leader of three recently launched clinical research studies that rely on CPM resources. "This is the future of medicine—across all diseases, not just in oncology."
CTG, a Buffalo-based company that is one of the largest U.S. healthcare IT companies and has developed leading bioinformatics computing and software, has played a major role in the development of the CPM, providing significant strategic direction and intending to contribute $2.5 million toward its development. Over the last 25 years, CTG has provided healthcare IT, and operational and strategic consulting support to over 600 healthcare organizations. CTG employs nearly 400 of its 3,800 employees in Western New York.
"We needed a technology partner with healthcare and bioinformatics expertise that could guide us from the concept stage, when we were mapping out how to best put these new informatics technologies to work, to the implementation stage, getting us to the position where we are able to deliver personalized medicine quickly and cost-effectively. And were fortunate to find a resource in CTG that brought all those strengths and also happened to be located just a few blocks away," says Donald L. Trump, MD, Roswell Park President and CEO.
"CTG has a longstanding relationship with Roswell Park, and great respect for their innovation in cancer research and care. As one of the nation's leading comprehensive cancer centers, Roswell Park is uniquely positioned to leverage its genomics assets and expertise to be at the forefront of the advancement and delivery of personalized medicine. CTG is very proud to be providing EMR expertise, bioinformatics, and clinical analytics to Roswell Park’s genomics initiative to enable delivery of the highest level of personalized care for cancer patients in a clinical environment," said CTG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James R. Boldt.
The Center's first sequencing projects represent a three-pronged translational research initiative. RPCI has launched clinical research studies that set out to:
- Predict on a case-by-case, personalized basis which of the two main types of standard chemotherapy, anthracycline-based or platinum-based, will be most effective in treating a woman's breast cancer, and with fewest adverse side effects;
- Develop, in collaboration with Western New York Urology Associates, a diagnostic test for superficial bladder cancer, the ninth-most common cancer in the U.S. and the most expensive of all cancers in terms of cost to treat; and
- Engage 600 healthy volunteers representing the ethnic, racial, socioeconomic and geographic diversity of the eight-county Western New York region in an initiative to identify the particular healthcare priorities of this community, aided by a mobile tissue-collection unit that will travel to disparate and underserved areas.
- In addition, RPCI expects to use the resources of the CPM in planning individualized care for its lung, melanoma and leukemia patients in the near future.
"The work we’re doing now at the CPM will translate into personalized, evidence-based therapies in a matter of months," says CPM Executive Director Carl Morrison, MD, DVM, Clinical Chief of the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Director of the Division of Molecular Pathology at RPCI. "Our goal is to bring next-generation sequencing technology to frontline care at Roswell Park with a new portfolio of personal genome assays."
"We now have the infrastructure in place to offer robust sequencing both quickly and cost-effectively. Those resources, paired with the subject-matter expertise that Dr. Morrison's outstanding team and partners like CTG add to our menu of services, allow us to compete among the small circle of healthcare institutions that have these capabilities," notes Dr. Trump. "The doors are wide open in terms of the opportunities for entrepreneurship and technology transfer that will flow from here."
Senator Timothy Kennedy said, "Roswell Park has long been at the cutting edge of medical advancements in cancer treatment. This strategic investment will not only spur local economic activity, it will also help strengthen Roswell's position as a national leader in cancer research and patient care. The Regional Councils have proven to be vital tools contributing to each region's success. I commend Governor Cuomo for creating these councils, and for the hard work of all the participants to expand this industry in Buffalo."
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "Our Regional Economic Development Council has worked tirelessly to attract business and promote economic growth within the entire region. I congratulate both the council and Roswell Park Cancer Institute for providing much needed revitalization to our community, and applaud Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy for their hard work and leadership in making this a reality."
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "This is excellent news for Erie County. By expanding Roswell Park Cancer Institute, we will not only provide job opportunities for Western New Yorkers, but will also contribute to the overall economic growth of the region. This is another great example of how New York State is supporting creativity and innovation in order to bring jobs to every community in the state, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to all New Yorkers."
Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said, "The expansion of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is critical to building Erie County's economic future. The positive changes that have resulted from the hard work and dedication of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council are evident today. The level of progress that has been made thus far is both impressive and encouraging to our region's economic upturn. I thank Governor Cuomo for spearheading this initiative and Lieutenant Governor Duffy for leading these hard working teams."
"I am proud to be a part of this announcement that will allow patients who come to Roswell Park Cancer Institute to have customized medical care and the resources necessary for more effective treatment," said Senator Mark Grisanti. "I applaud the hard work of WNY Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Satish K. Tripathi, and Howard A. Zemsky along with Governor Andrew Cuomo for their leadership."
County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "The Center for Personalized Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute represents another step forward in health care here in Erie County, and will result in cancer patients getting individualized medical attention and care. I commend RPCI and Empire State Development for their vision in accomplishing this, and look forward to working with our partners in government and health care to continue to provide high-quality care such as this."
CTG develops innovative IT solutions to address the business needs and challenges of companies in several higher-growth industries including healthcare, energy, and technology services. As a leading provider of IT and business consulting solutions to the healthcare market, CTG offers hospitals, physician groups, and regional health information exchanges a full range of electronic medical record services. Additionally, CTG has developed for the healthcare provider and payer markets unique, proprietary medical management and claims analytics software solutions that support better and lower cost healthcare. CTG also provides managed services IT staffing for major technology companies and large corporations. Backed by over 45 years' experience, proprietary methodologies, and an ISO 9001-certified management system, CTG has a proven track record of delivering high-value, industry-specific solutions. CTG generated revenue of $396 million in 2011 and operates in North America and Western Europe. CTG posts news and other important information on the Web at www.ctg.com.
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI's website, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.