HMH partners with GTC to launch a reference laboratory for genomic testing

Edison-based Hackensack Meridian Health and Irvine, California-based Genomic Testing Cooperative announced on Wednesday a partnership to establish a next generation sequencing reference laboratory for molecular profiling.

“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,” Maher Albitar, CEO and chief medical officer at GTC, said.

The lab, which will be located at JFK Medical Center in Edison, will use AI and algorithms developed by GTC to analyze data initially focused on cancer and will expand to immune diseases and various chronic illnesses.

It will also bring genomics to the health system’s current active screening and prevention programs.

“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,” Robert C. Garrett, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “We believe that precision medicine based on genomics not only delivers better medicine but is more efficient and cost effective.”

The facility will not only serve HMH physicians, but will provide outreach services to physicians and hospitals on the East Coast.