Pushing a New Standard: Genome Medical, Fabric Genomics Help Make Genomic Medicine Mainstream

November 20, 2017
Pushing a New Standard: Genome Medical, Fabric Genomics Help Make Genomic Medicine Mainstream
Source: bestdesigns/Getty Images

Chris Anderson

Genome Medical, which bills itself as a national genomics medical practice, has announced it will use the genomic data analysis and reporting services of Fabric Genomics to provide its patients, doctors, and genetic counselors with insight into both targeted treatments and disease prevention.

“Genome Medical is the first and only practice to specialize in genomic interpretation, both for patients and doctors. They have deep roots in genetics and genomics with their clinical genomics leadership team led by Steven Bleyl,” said Martin Reese, founder, president and CEO of Fabric Genomics. “Their executive team has deep knowledge of what both patients and doctors are struggling with in terms of incorporating genomics into standard healthcare. Fabric Genomics was chosen by Genome Medical to be their tool to interpret raw genomic data. To make a correct diagnosis, clinicians need to look at the raw genomic data, similar to a radiologist looking at an X-ray.”

Under the deal, Genome Medical, in conjunction with its laboratory partners, will deploy Fabric Enterprise, a computational genomics platform for the analysis of data generated from high-throughput panels, exomes, and whole genomes with a focus on hereditary disease and oncology.

For Genome Medical, founded in mid-2016 and which first began providing services to patients in January this year, the partnership with Fabric fits with its founders’ vision of being able to provide specific treatments for disease and disease prevention based on patient’s unique genomic profile, said Steven Bleyl, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer, Genome Medical. The medical practice is currently building a nationwide network of both doctors and genetic counselors focused on deriving insights from genomic data.

According to the company’s website, the goal of Genome Medical is “to bridge the growing gap between available genome technology and current medical practice.” It will focus initially in areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, and reproductive health, but intends to eventually focus on preventative health measures by helping individual patients to understand how their genomic profile influences health and wellness.

“We know that outside of major medical centers and academic centers, doctors may not feel as confident in ordering these kinds of tests, or where to turn to get this testing done,” said Bleyl. “Our practice can help them find where to do this, and our staff of trained physicians and genetic counselors can help doctors and patients make sense of their results.”

The addition of Fabric Enterprise to provide actionable information based on a patient’s genomic profile should prove beneficial to Genome Medical as it looks to build its national footprint. Bleyl noted that Fabric “had the complete package. The way the data was organized and how they generate reports clearly provides insight our counselors and physicians can use for the benefit of patients.”

Both companies see the increasing value of genomic information for health and wellness, and the ability for individuals to tap the data, as needed, throughout their lives. “Knowledge of how genetics influences health continues to increase,” Bleyl noted. “We’ll know much more in five years than we do now. So, a patient whose genetic data may not yield an answer today, could get an answer next year or the year after, based on new research. That is what we see as the future of genomic medicine.”

For Fabric, the deal with Genome Medical further helps build its presence in the clinical market of providing clinical decision support services via genomic data interpretation and with a partner that clearly embraces a genomic model of medicine.

“By combining our expertise in genome interpretation with Genome Medical’s team of physicians and genetic counselors, we can offer patients and physicians a clinical solution by combining genomic knowledge with patient care to improve their health,” Martin Reese, Ph.D., CEO of Fabric Genomics, said in a press release. “Genome Medical brings a critical missing link to patients through their world-class genetic medical expertise, plus a strong medical practice foundation. This partnership is key to helping both patients and [their] clinicians understand their genetic variants and discover if they have a disease, or are at risk of developing a disease.”

Since announcing its collaboration with Genome Medical, Fabric has continued to build its relationships with other health systems and genomic research efforts both within the U.S. and beyond. In late October, it announced new and ongoing partnerships with Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project, Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (see story on page 16), and The Utah Genome Project (UGP), all focused on speedy and accurate identification of pediatric disease-causing genetic variants.

The newest of these partnerships, with UGP, will see the two work closely with phenotyping application company FDNA and its Face2Gene technology to detect disease-related facial features to potentially identify associated gene variations that cause disease, especially in children. Fabric Genomics has integrated Face2Gene into its Opal Clinical platform to facilitate comprehensive and precise genetic evaluations.

“Many leading institutions are using Fabric Genomics’ platform to identify disease-causing variants and these findings are demonstrating to be life-saving for children in the NICU/ PICU, pediatric diagnostic odyssey cases, and for patients who undergo testing hereditary diseases and oncology,” noted Reese. “As more clinicians see the positive effect of genomics testing, and the cost for sequencing continues to go down, we will see that genomics will become part of mainstream medicine.”

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