Beth Israel Deaconess and the Jackson Laboratory Form New Agreement

The relationship will encompass advanced cancer research and personalized genomic medicine.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is expanding its reach. The medical center opened a new clinic space in Chestnut Hill, a cancer center in Needham, and now it’s moving north—way, way north.

In a new collaboration, BIDMC and the Jackson Laboratory (JAX), which is based in Bar Harbor, Maine, have established a new academic, research, and service relationship, that reps say will “encompass a broad range of activities to advance cancer research and patient care and accelerate personalized genomic medicine.”

According to company reps, the recently signed agreement establishes a “comprehensive relationship in the areas of research and medical education as well as in the creation of new diagnostic and therapeutic services that could greatly improve patient care.”

This new affiliation brings together two mouse model platforms used in genomic cancer research. According to a statement released by BIDMC:

The JAX mouse model, PDX (patient-derived xenograft) provides a platform for studying the genomic profiles of individual cancers through molecular diagnostic testing. BIDMC’s “Mouse Hospital,” developed by BIDMC Cancer Center Director Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, uses genetically altered mice to replicate human cancers and enables investigators to conduct human clinical trials in parallel with animal studies

“The Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center is already renowned for its leading-edge cancer care and for our research discoveries that have led to unique cancer treatment strategies,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, BIDMC’s President and CEO in a statement. “Our new affiliation with JAX will enhance our ability to improve our patients’ lives by accelerating the application of genomics to cancer care.”

The agreement also calls for the creation of new genomics-based training programs and additional collaborative activities including:

  • Joint faculty appointments
  • Clinical genomics applications, including a state-of-the-art diagnostics platform to analyze patient samples and help guide personalized therapies
  • Development of diagnostic reports to help treating physicians use genomic data in patient care, and to access appropriate clinical trials
  • Development of mouse-based approaches to prospectively identify optimal individualized anti-cancer drug regimens.

“The alliance between our Cancer Center and JAX promises to greatly enhance our understanding of the role of new cancer mutations and speed the development of targeted human therapies,” Pandolfi said in a statement. “Our two institutions have developed highly complementary mouse modeling platforms that are providing us with tremendous insights into cancer’s mechanisms. By joining forces, we will be able to speed the pace of future discoveries and bring personalized cancer treatments to patients much more quickly.”