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AACR Project GENIE Begins Five-year Collaborative Research Project with $36 Million in New Funding

The project will further enhance a unique, real-world clinico-genomic dataset through the joint efforts of nine biopharmaceutical companies

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) initiative known as AACR Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (GENIE) is launching a five-year, $36 million research collaboration with a coalition of nine biopharmaceutical companies with the goal of obtaining clinical and genomic data from an estimated 50,000 de-identified patients treated at the institutions participating in AACR Project GENIE. The additional clinical data furthers the project goals of advancing precision oncology and powering clinical decision making through open and transparent data sharing.

The nine biopharmaceutical companies participating in the collaborative project are:

  • Amgen Inc.
  • AstraZeneca
  • Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim 
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Genentech, member of the Roche Group
  • Janssen Research & Development, LLC
  • Merck
  • Novartis

AACR Project GENIE is a publicly accessible international cancer registry of real-world data assembled through data sharing between 19 of the leading cancer centers in the world. Through the efforts of strategic partners Sage Bionetworks and cBioPortal, the registry aggregates, harmonizes, and links clinical-grade, next-generation cancer genomic sequencing data with clinical outcomes obtained during routine medical practice from cancer patients treated at these institutions.

Currently, AACR Project GENIE’s registry contains clinical-grade cancer genomic sequencing data from nearly 71,000 patients. These data are linked to a limited set of clinical data, such as age, sex, primary diagnosis, and type of tumor sample analyzed (primary or metastatic).

The new collaboration will greatly expand the scope and accelerate the speed of clinical data collection. 

  • In the first two years, the project will add prior cancer treatments, tumor pathology, and clinical outcomes to the clinical data already linked with the genomic profiles of nearly 8,000 bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, and prostate cancer patients treated at three of the institutions participating in AACR Project GENIE: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. 
  • In years three through five, this data collection will be expanded to as many cancer types as possible from all active participating institutions.

“Recognizing the importance of the outputs of this project to the broader research and patient communities, and in alignment with the guiding principles of openness, transparency, and inclusion, all data generated will be made publicly available 12 months following data lock,” said Shawn M. Sweeney, PhD, director of the AACR Project GENIE Coordinating Center. “Additionally, in the spirit of inclusion, this project represents a true collaboration with the biopharma team members serving as active participants with additional project governance roles.”

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively with our colleagues in the biopharma sector to expand the clinical content of the GENIE registry and bring us closer to fulfilling our goals of improved clinical decision making, and catalyzing clinical and translational research,” said Charles L. Sawyers, MD, FAACR, chairperson of the steering committee for AACR Project GENIE, chairperson of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

Sawyers added, “This is just the beginning of the next chapter for GENIE, and you can expect many more advances in the years to come.”