OPKO's GeneDx Subsidiary and North Shore-LIJ Health System form strategic alliance for Genetic Testing

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The North Shore-LIJ Health System and OPKO Health, Inc. (OPK) have formed a novel strategic alliance to provide genomic testing, molecular diagnostic testing and ancillary support services such as genetic counseling.  The scope of testing will cover all genetic disorders, including prenatal screening, pediatric and postnatal diagnosis, assessing risk for inherited cancer, and testing for genetic cardiac abnormalities and neurological disorders.  It will also include genetic analysis of cancer for sensitivity to drug therapies.

An essential element of the strategic alliance is the formation of a limited liability corporation (LLC). Its purpose will be to generate knowledge leading to new discoveries from a shared data infrastructure consisting of fully annotated genomic data with detailed clinical information, which will help build the evidence base for the medical necessity of genomic and genetic testing.

"The purpose of this alliance is to advance the promise of precision medicine by providing our patients with greater access to these potentially life-saving tests, while at the same time evaluating their utility and clinical value," said James Crawford, MD, PhD, chair of pathology and executive director of laboratory services at the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which is changing its name in January to Northwell Health.

North Shore-LIJ is a rapidly growing clinical, education and research enterprise that is a leader in quality and innovation.  It currently ranks as the nation's 14th-largest health system, with annual operating revenues of $9.5 billion.   As a fully integrated healthcare system serving the greater New York metropolitan area and beyond, North Shore-LIJ has more than four million patient contacts in its 21 hospitals, over 450 outpatient physician practices, and a vast network of skilled-nursing, home care, rehabilitation, hospice, urgent care and other services.   In addition to the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute and the health system's extensive prenatal care programs, North Shore-LIJ's Cohen Children's Medical Center cares for thousands of children with a wide range of pediatric diseases; including genetic abnormalities, who will benefit from genomic tests.  Through this alliance, North Shore-LIJ will utilize OPKO's GeneDx and GenPath divisions as its primary laboratory for genomic testing.

"We are pleased to be partnering with North Shore-LIJ to leverage our collective expertise, experience and resources in genomics and clinical care to further expand access to targeted treatment options for patients," said Marc Grodman, MD, Chief Executive Officer of OPKO's BioReference Laboratories division. "The leadership of North Shore-LIJ has demonstrated a visionary approach to incorporate genomics in a coordinated, strategic manner throughout its health system. Our GeneDx and GenPath business units have extensive capabilities that will be leveraged in this alliance to further enhance NSLIJ patient care, education and research."

Michael Dowling, President and CEO of North Shore-LIJ, said, "The breadth of care provided by our health system gives us the opportunity to advance clinical knowledge through genomic testing. Linking genomic information with clinical outcomes is critical to understanding, diagnosing and treating disease. This strategic alliance with GeneDx and BioReference in genomics will further elevate our stature as a premier provider and destination for world-class care."

 

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