Thermo Fisher Forms Pharmagenomics Center of Excellence

By Akia Thorpe -

April 10, 2018

Thermo Fisher Scientific and the University of Pittsburgh have established a new Pharmacogenomics (PGx) Center of Excellence that combines technology in genomics, bioinformatics, implementation science, medication-response phenotyping, and education.

The center aims to discover and validate medication-response predictors in patients, overcome clinical implementation barriers, and demonstrate the value of pre-emptive PGx testing in routine clinical practice.

Strategically, the PGx Center of Excellence will focus on:

  • Technologies to identify the genomic determinants of medication response and provide PGx analysis and interpretation for researchers, clinicians, and patients;
  • Demonstrating the clinical utility and economic value of PGx-based care in emerging healthcare delivery models at Pitt/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a nonprofit academic health system;
  • Developing effective methods for return of PGx results to achieve clinician and patient education;
  • Advancing PGx and technology awareness and adoption by providing leadership in technology translation through educational platforms, conferences, and hands-on workshops hosted by Pitt and Thermo Fisher to disseminate expertise and best practices nationally.

The new center will feature Thermo Fisher's portfolio of PGx testing solutions, including its PharmacoScan platform, to study preemptive panel-based PGx testing and return results in at least 150,000 patients in western and central Pennsylvania. The team expects that this high-density population screening of 4,627 markers within 1,191 genes will yield concise PGx signatures that associate with known phenotypes within specific patient cohorts. The objective is to demonstrate that targeted testing can be deployed clinically at population scale using testing platforms that have been designed for greater speed and precision.

The new center will use Pitt+Me Discovery, the new institutional bio-repository developed by the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute. It also extends the PGx clinical implementation (PreCISE-Rx) and (Test2Learn) educational programs already implemented in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Philip Empey, Associate Director for Pharmacogenomics in the Institute for Precision Medicine and faculty in the School of Pharmacy and the Clinical and Translational Institute, will lead the center. He will oversee teams of faculty and staff focused on pharmacogenomics, implementation science, bioinformatics, analytics, economics, and education. An advisory board comprised of representatives from the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, Thermo Fisher, and external experts will guide program vision and timelines.

Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific