Innovation in Next Generation Sequencing

Making Genomics Available and Affordable for Everyone

Hackensack Meridian Health Partners with GTC to Establish a Reference Laboratory Offering State-of-the-Art Genomic Precision Testing

Hackensack Meridian Health Partners with Genomic Testing Cooperative to Establish a Reference Laboratory Offering State-of-the-Art Genomic Precision Testing

IRVINE, Calif. and EDISON, N.J., July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) in Edison, New Jersey, and Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC), Irvine, California, announced today an agreement to establish a next generation sequencing reference laboratory for molecular profiling. The state-of-the-art laboratory, located at JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, will use artificial intelligence software and algorithms developed by GTC. 

The new genomic laboratory will be initially focused on cancer and will expand to immune diseases and various chronic diseases. It will bring genomics to the currently active screening and prevention program at HMH. Recent innovation in diagnostic testing, called molecular testing, provides a deeper insight into tumors’ genomic signature. Molecular tests are looking for alterations in the cancer’s DNA and RNA that drive the disease’s growth and spread. Testing could reveal one cause or several causes that may offer insights into how the tumor will behave. The goal of the tests is to offer diagnostic, prognostic and predictive information about targeted options. 

This new facility will not only serve the physicians in the HMH network, but will provide outreach service to physicians and hospitals on the East Coast.

“Investing in genomics and establishing a reference laboratory in genomics represents a new phase for Hackensack Meridian Health and demonstrates our commitment to be a leader in improving patient care,” noted Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “We believe that precision medicine based on genomics not only delivers better medicine but is more efficient and cost effective.”

Maher Albitar, MD, chief executive officer and chief medical officer at GTC, stated, “Collaborating with HMH to open a reference laboratory on the east coast is a part of our plan in democratizing next generation sequencing and building a network of genomic laboratories that offer sophisticated high-quality molecular testing. These laboratories will use the same algorithms and artificial intelligence approach in analyzing data with cross validation, so the data can be grouped and used for developing new applications and new indications. This collaboration will allow GTC to co-develop new tests with HMH utilizing real world clinical and outcomes data provided by HMH.”

“Paired DNA and RNA profiling is increasingly recognized as the new standard in precision medicine and GTC is leading in developing clinical utilizations for this approach.  Although we are currently using genomic information for diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making, we are only touching the surface of how this technology can be applied,” said Dr. Andre Goy, physician-in-chief for Oncology at Hackensack Meridian Health and chair of John Theurer Cancer Center. He added, “The collaboration between HMH and GTC will facilitate bringing this technology faster to everyday patient care.” 

“HMH is highly patient focused and GTC is a leader in genomic diagnosis and this partnering will not only represent a unique opportunity for advancing medicine and health outcome, but could have implications on health policies as well,” explained Mark Stauder, chief operating officer, Hackensack Meridian Health.

The new reference laboratory will complement the previously announced next generation sequencing laboratory operated by Regional Cancer Care Associates in their practice located at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, which provides services for RCCA physicians.

Hackensack Meridian Health is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network.

ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 34,100 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.

About Genomic Testing Cooperative, LCA

Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC) is a privately-owned molecular testing company located in Irvine, CA. The company operates based on a cooperative (co-op) business model. Members of the co-op hold type A shares with voting rights. The company offers its patron members a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling based mainly on next generation sequencing. The co-op model allows GTC to make the testing and information platform available to members at a lower cost because of a lower overhead. For more information, please visit https://genomictestingcooperative.com/.

Forward Looking Statements

All of the statements, expectations and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the GTC and HMH management’s current expectations and includes statements regarding the value of Molecular profiling, testing, therapy, and the ability of testing to provide clinically useful information. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and HMH or GTC undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

Hackensack Meridian Health Contact:
Katherine Emmanouilidis
T: 551-996-3764
Katherine.emmanouilidis@hackensackmeridian.org

Genomic Testing Cooperative contact:
Jennifer Varca
T: (949) 540-9421
Jvarca@genomictestingcooperative.com

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