LEXINGTON, Mass. and PITTSBURGH, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Ardais(R) Corporation announced today that Geisinger Health System (Geisinger), which provides health care to more than 2.3 million people in Pennsylvania, has adopted the Ardais System for the collection, management and distribution of high-quality, clinically-annotated biospecimens to be used in its expanding cancer research programs. Geisinger is part of a newly launched research collaboration supported by the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) and involving the Windber Research Institute.
The research collaboration will integrate Geisinger's tissue banking initiatives with Windber's molecular analytical capabilities. Also incorporated will be activities focused on developing a shared bioinformatics approach to identify biomarkers critical in early cancer detection, disease progression and prediction of a patient's response to treatment. The Ardais System for biospecimen management will serve as the backbone of a clinically- annotated biospecimen collection network for the collaboration, providing a proven approach to enable this effort.
"This collaboration is piloting a regional effort that allows community hospitals to work with academic medical centers as part of the cancer research enterprise. We are testing a model that could be used for similar collaborations at a national level," said Donald B. Hawthorne, President and CEO, Ardais Corporation. "This is a great opportunity for us to show how this type of collaboration can be successfully executed."
Geisinger's President and CEO, Glenn Steele, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., said, "We are pleased to collaborate on this statewide research initiative. As always, we look for opportunities that can expand our research abilities and potentially lead to breakthroughs in the prevention, treatment and cures of the many cancers that claim the lives of thousands of people every day."
Doros Platika, M.D., President and CEO of the PLSG said, "The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse is delighted to support this cancer biospecimen initiative and to help facilitate the collaboration of Ardais, Geisinger, the Windber Research Institute and the Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance Bioinformatics Consortium for the benefit of all individuals who have been, are, or potentially will be touched by cancer. The potential outcomes of this collaboration, in addition to job and value creation, may result in improving the effectiveness of diagnosis, generating novel therapies that save lives."
F. Nicholas Jacobs, FACHE, President and CEO, Windber Medical Center and Windber Research Institute, noted: "This collaboration uniquely represents the strength of regionally linking biomedical research institutions whose biomedical research and product development opportunities can promote economic development in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We are establishing an early model for the successful linking of not-for-profit entities with the private sector to establish a 'best practice' tissue banking and informatics consortium that benefits everyone."
Ronald Herberman, M.D., Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cancer Centers, added, "Our Cancer Center is very excited about this new partnership, which will utilize the expertise of the UPCI in clinical and tissue informatics to facilitate the needed extensive research on the clinical usefulness of cancer biomarkers for better classification of tumors and predicting responsiveness to treatment."
Founded in 1915, Geisinger is an integrated, physician-led health care system serving more than two million people in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. It includes a tertiary/quaternary medical center, a secondary acute care hospital, the nation's first rural children's hospital, a women's health center, a heart institute, a cancer institute, research programs, one of the largest rural not-for-profit health plans in the country, and more than 40 community practice sites. Geisinger's top priority is providing the highest quality patient care, and its mission is to heal, teach, discover and serve.
About Ardais Corporation
Ardais Corporation addresses all of the challenges of biospecimen collection, management and distribution, allowing researchers to focus solely on the research discoveries and clinical developments that will advance translational medicine. As a pioneer in best practices for this field, Ardais has developed the Ardais System, a comprehensive solution that enables academic and commercial scientists and clinicians to standardize their biospecimen collections and efficiently manage their biorepositories, thereby enhancing and accelerating research and clinical development.
The Ardais System, encompassing biological, informatics and engineering expertise, is a suite of software applications, operating procedures, proprietary supplies and data standards that integrate clients' biorepository operations at one or multiple geographic sites. For more information, visit: http://www.ardais.com.
About Windber Research Institute
Windber Research Institute is a private, non-profit biomedical research institute that is focused on redefining translational medicine as it applies to women's health, cardiovascular disease, and processes of aging. We are committed to research and technology development in tissue banking, data warehousing of clinical, molecular (genomic and proteomic), and imaging data and data analysis, interpretation and disease modeling with our biomedical informatics team. WRI has extensive collaborative relationships with Walter Reed Army Medical Center, GE Healthcare and many universities and government groups both nationally and internationally.
About the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse is a public/private partnership, founded by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Health System, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its regional foundation community. Together with private industry and advanced research and healthcare capabilities of our institutional partners, PLSG invests in and supports the growth of regional life sciences companies in the areas of: bioinformatics; bionanotechnology; diagnostics; medical devices; medical robotics; therapeutics; and tools and services. These companies are focused in the following sectors: drug discovery tools and targets, biomedical devices, tissue engineering and neurological/psychiatric strategy companies.
Donald B. Hawthorne
Chief Executive Officer
Geisinger Health System