Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) Avatar Research Program, a unique collaboration to explore new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer, the health informatics solutions company M2Gen announced.
Working to accelerate the discovery and development of personalized medicines, M2Gen partners with leading cancer centers across the United States through the ORIEN network to create a large, cancer-focused data warehouse linking clinical and molecular data. The ORIEN Avatar Program is M2Gen’s approach to accelerating the discovery and development of new immuno-oncology therapies.
“The data M2Gen generates via the ORIEN Avatar Research Program is exceptional in its depth and we believe it will be critical to studying the molecular characteristics of patients who may benefit from immunotherapy agents,” Saurabh Saha, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s senior vice president and global head of translational medicine, said in a press release.
The network operates by enabling the collection of clinical and molecular data from patients receiving cancer treatment at one of the member centers. These data are made available to participating research projects to boost discovery, translational, clinical, and health outcomes research.
Because of this key point of the program, all patients treated at institutions in the ORIEN network must consent to the Total Cancer Care Protocol, which enables researchers to access their clinical data and tissue specimens for use in studies and to be contacted for clinical trials. The patients’ identities, however, remain confidential.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb has been a longtime partner of M2Gen and ORIEN,” said Timothy Wright, president and chief executive officer of M2Gen. “In many ways, our past collaborations served as a precedent to the ORIEN Avatar Research Program. We are eager to continue our work together with the shared ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.”
The ORIEN Avatar Research Program provides a secure and collaborative environment that empowers participating research centers with resources provided by pharmaceutical companies, such as funding for clinical trials. In exchange, the pharmaceutical companies have access to genetic and clinical information that can inform the discovery and clinical development of new cancer therapies.
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