Greenwood Genetic Center project receives grant to expand access for genetics services see more
The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), through the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation, has been awarded a grant of $899,000 from The Duke Endowment for 'Genetics Access for All,' a project to expand access to genetics services for patients and providers.
"In this current era of genomic medicine, there is an increasing demand for clinical genetics services, but our workforce is insufficient to meet this demand, and our current work flows are inefficient," said Mike Lyons, MD, Director of Clinical Services at GGC and lead on the funded project. "This leads to families facing long waits to be evaluated and tested, and subsequent delays in managing and treating their child's condition."
GGC has provided clinical genetics services since 1974; however, with the increase in demand for services, and inability of genetics training programs to keep up with the ensuing workforce demand, patients often wait for six months or longer to be seen.
"This is not just a GGC issue. Genetics clinics around the country are facing wait times that are as long or longer than ours," said Steve Skinner, MD, GGC Director. "And we have found that as genomic technology has been evolving at such a rapid pace, many non-genetics providers do not feel comfortable ordering and interpreting genetic tests on their own."
'Genetics Access for All' proposes a new standard of genetics care by optimizing access for patients and employing a new system of communication to transform how non-genetics providers engage with genetics providers in order to better manage their patients.
In 2019, GGC and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) signed an affiliation agreement with the goal of improving access to genetic services for patients across SC.
One initiative that has grown out of this affiliation is a pilot project with the MUSC Center for Telehealth to develop an electronic consult (e-consult) system for genetics referrals. The project initially offered the option only to a limited number of referring providers in the MUSC system. Funding from The Duke Endowment will allow that project to expand on a much larger scale.
During the first year of the funded project, GGC will implement e-consults through an online platform to allow non-genetics providers to upload patient information, and receive clinical impressions and testing recommendations within two business days. E-consults will help avoid unnecessary referrals, improve communication with non-genetic providers, and enhance efficiency by decreasing the amount of time needed for in-person and telemedicine visits.
In year two, GGC plans to expand the concept to provide electronic patient visits (e-visits) allowing patients to upload their information electronically and quickly receive clinical feedback and recommendations. The goal of e-visits is not to replace in-person or telegenetics visits, but to provide another care option that improves communication with and access for patients.
Lyons says that the ultimate goal of this project is to change the model of genetics care from a long diagnostic odyssey to a more efficient system that decreases unnecessary referrals, expedites diagnoses, and decreases wait times for appointments.
"Through e-consults, we'll be able to more quickly identify patients who need genetic testing and facilitate the appropriate testing," he said. "A rapid diagnosis will allow for more timely and precise management and treatment for all patients impacted by a genetic disorder."
GGC expects to see significant improvements in patient care as the project expands. "Our goals are to complete 50 outpatient and 25 inpatient e-consults and 25 e-visits per month by the end of the grant cycle," said Lyons. "We anticipate this project to dramatically improve wait times for all types of visits, and hope that our success can be translated into a new model for genetics care in clinics nationwide."
About Greenwood Genetic Center
The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics and caring for families impacted by genetic disease and birth defects. At its home campus in Greenwood, South Carolina, a talented team of physicians and scientists provides clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing, educational programs and resources, and research in the field of medical genetics. GGC’s faculty and staff are committed to the goal of developing preventive and curative therapies for the individuals and families they serve. GGC extends its reach as a resource to all residents of South Carolina with satellite offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville. For more information about GGC please visit www.ggc.org.
About The Duke Endowment
Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.
Study Shows Typical Cancer-Free Survival Doubled for Recurrent Brain Cancer Patients when KIYATEC’s Test Informed Therapy SelectionFirst release of 3D-PREDICT clinical study data fuels momentum of company’s glioblastoma program see more
GREENVILLE, SC – December 17, 2020 – KIYATEC, Inc. today announced the first clinical use of its response-prediction test to improve outcomes in relapsed brain cancer patients. Test results that measure the effect of cancer drugs on a patient’s live cancer cells are available in just seven days, thereby enabling oncologists to select drugs informed by patient-specific evidence of response before treatment begins.
Lindsay Lipinski, MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology and a neurosurgeon at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Buffalo, NY), presented her and her colleagues’ findings at the 2020 Society of Neuro-Oncology meeting in November. A case series of seven patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas – six with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and one with anaplastic astrocytoma – was detailed.
“In this early experience, tools that can predict a tumor cell’s responsivity to a variety of chemotherapy or other therapeutic agents have already been extremely valuable in guiding treatment decision-making for patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas at our center,” said Dr. Lipinski. “Our results show that we are far along in the paradigm shift toward individualized medicine.”
Today, when these cancers return following a patient’s initial treatment, oncologists do not have evidence-based guidelines to choose which drug therapy to use next. Across several drug options, the typical expectation for the time in which these recurrent patients will remain cancer-free (i.e., median progression free survival or PFS) is only 4 months. The use of KIYATEC’s test results to inform drug selection approximately doubled the typical expectation, achieving a group median PFS of 7.9 months, a significant improvement over expected PFS in these patients.
KIYATEC’s test results informed two of the seven patients’ successful treatment with dabrafenib, a targeted agent. Notably, neither had a typically associated genetic mutation, demonstrating that the test can uncover effective drug options that would have normally been missed.
“Our vision is to successfully translate these study findings into the GBM population at large, including newly diagnosed patients – a population that we’re also actively enrolling and testing in our study,” said Matthew Gevaert, PhD, CEO of KIYATEC. “Today’s positive results in relapsed patients, with a median age of 60 and some having had two or even three relapses, paves the way to do this.”
This first release of data from KIYATEC’s active 3D-PREDICT (ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT03561207) clinical study coincides with the continued addition of new sites at which high-grade glioma patients can enroll, bringing this study to nine institutions across the United States.
About KIYATEC, Inc.
KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platforms to accurately model and predict response to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors. The company’s Clinical Services business is currently engaged in the validation of clinical assays as well as investigator-initiated studies in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma and rare tumors, in its CLIA-certified laboratory. The company’s Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types.
Lindsay Lipinski, et al., INNV-16. Clinical applicability of individualized drug response profiling utilizing ex-vivo tissue-derived 3D cell culture assays in high-grade glioma: a single institution case series using 3D-PREDICT results, Neuro-Oncology, Volume 22, Issue Supplement_2, November 2020, Pages ii119–ii120, https://doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa215.499.
U.S. News & World Report releases annual national rankings see more
MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston was named by U.S. News & World Report for the sixth year in a row as the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina, with three of the MUSC Health, Charleston Division, specialty areas ranking among the best in the entire country: ear, nose and throat; gynecology; and cancer. Six other MUSC Health programs based in Charleston are considered “high performing” in the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings: gastroenterology and GI surgery; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; rheumatology and urology. In addition, MUSC Health Florence Medical Center is designated “high performing” in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure, and MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center is designated “high performing” in COPD and heart failure.
“These six consecutive years of recognition demonstrate that our teams remain committed to keeping the needs of patients as the focal points of what we deliver every day,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “With all the pressures bearing on the health care industry right now, especially during this pandemic, yet again earning this level of recognition as the leading health care organization in the Charleston area, the Lowcountry and the state engenders a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride in our teams’ abilities to change what’s possible for those we serve.”
The Best Hospitals 2020-2021 https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals report is designed to help patients with life-threatening or rare conditions identify hospitals that excel in treating the most difficult cases. The annual report includes consumer-friendly data and information on 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties, 10 procedures and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 134 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News & World Report recognizes hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care.
“It is particularly gratifying to see two of the newest hospitals within the MUSC Health system, in our Florence and Lancaster Divisions, recognized in this year’s report,” Cawley said. “Our teams statewide are engaged in delivering health care that is built on quality, safety and innovation at every level.” The Florence and Lancaster hospitals joined the MUSC Health system in March 2019 when MUSC Health acquired four community hospitals.
The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals methodologies, in most areas of care, are based largely or entirely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.
“For more than 30 years, U.S. News & World Report has been helping patients, along with the help of their physicians, identify the Best Hospitals in an array of specialties, procedures and conditions,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “The hospitals that rise to the top of our rankings and ratings have deep medical expertise, and each has built a track record of delivering good outcomes for patients.”
U.S. News & World Report produces its Best Hospitals rankings with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
KIYATEC Adds Clinical and Reimbursement Experience to Board as Clinical Testing Validation ProgressesKIYATEC adds to its Board of Directors see more
KIYATEC, Inc. today announced the appointment of Bruce Nash, MD, MBA, to its Board of Directors. Dr. Nash brings over 30 years of executive-level healthcare experience in the managed care, hospital and medical group practice settings. Currently, he serves as Chief Physician Executive and Senior Vice President at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, one of the nation’s leading health insurance plans. During his career, Dr. Nash has held executive leadership positions in both managed care (Kaiser Permanente, Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan) and healthcare (Northern Berkshire Health System, North Adams Regional Hospital) organizations.
Dr. Nash serves on the boards of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI), while also serving on the Board of Strategic Advisors at the Excel Venture Management Fund and the Clinical Advisory Group at the Blue Venture Fund. He is a board-certified physician who completed his residency training at Duke University. Bruce earned his MBA in Health Sector Management from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Nash to KIYATEC’s Board of Directors,” said Robert Silverman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KIYATEC. “Bruce’s relevant experience and vision as both a clinician and an expert in managed care will provide tremendous value as KIYATEC moves forward in the development of our predictive clinical tests to improve cancer patient care and outcomes.”
The addition of Dr. Nash to the KIYATEC Board of Directors comes as the company’s evidence development efforts continue to gain momentum:
- 3D-PREDICT Study (NCT03561207) of clinical tests to predict pre-treatment drug response to drug therapies for ovarian cancer and high-grade glioma continues to add study sites and enroll patients
- Pilot study publication entitled, “Prospective Validation of an Ex Vivo, Patient-Derived 3D Spheroid Model for Response Predictions in Newly Diagnosed Ovarian Cancer,” was recognized this spring by Scientific Reports (Nature Research) as being one of its Top 100 cancer papers of 2019 (of >1,000 published)
- Emerging evidence of I/O (immuno-oncology) drug response characterization to be presented via multiple posters at AACR in June
About KIYATEC, Inc.
KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture platforms to accurately model and predict response to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors. The company’s Clinical Services business is currently engaged in the validation of clinical assays as well as investigator-initiated studies in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma and rare tumors, in its CLIA-certified laboratory. The company’s Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types
KIYATEC Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Vice Presidents of Clinical Affairs and Commercial OperationsKIYATEC growth supports upcoming programs to better predict patient response to oncology drugs see more
GREENVILLE, SC. – May 29, 2018 – KIYATEC, Inc., a privately held company changing the future of cancer care by predicting patient response to oncology drugs prior to treatment, today announced an expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of two industry veterans. Charlene Knape has joined the company as Vice President of Clinical Affairs, and Timothy Decker as Vice President Commercial Operations.
Mr. Decker, a twenty year industry leader with a proven track record of developing and commercializing oncology diagnostic services and pharmaceuticals, has assumed responsibility for pre-launch commercial strategic development along with tactical planning and execution to drive clinical product launches. Mr. Decker held roles of increasing responsibility in strategic and tactical marketing for a decade at G.D. Searle and Abbott Laboratories before joining Genomic Health, Inc. Over an eight year span, he played a lead role as Director and Senior Director in the global launch, marketing, reimbursement and sales of Oncotype DX molecular diagnostic tests in breast, colon and prostate cancers. Mr. Decker subsequently served as Vice President of Marketing at Castle Biosciences, Inc., where he drove corporate and pipeline strategy, as well as in-line product strategy and revenue growth for its molecular diagnostic tests in melanoma. He joins the company from Mexico City-based Grupo Fármacos Especializados, where he served as Division Head, Oncology Diagnostics, responsible for developing reimbursement pathways and securing positive coverage decisions among public and private sector payers.
With more than 25 years of experience working with diagnostic companies, Ms. Knape is responsible for leading the clinical development programs and clinical operations for KIYATEC’s pipeline for ovarian cancer, glioblastoma, rare tumors and triple negative breast cancer. She most recently served as Senior Director, Clinical Development for Inivata, a clinical cancer genomics company utilizing liquid biopsies for comprehensive genomic profiling of tumors. Prior to this, Ms. Knape served in Becton Dickinson’s Corporate Clinical Development group, responsible for global clinical quality and contracts. Ms. Knape spent five years with Micell Technologies as Senior Director of Clinical Affairs where she managed all global clinical activities for first-in-human and CE Marking studies for an implantable cardiovascular device from initiation through successful regulatory submission. As the company’s lead in clinical operations, Ms. Knape also built the team and initiated a 1,400-patient study in Europe and a 400-patient study in China. Previously, Ms. Knape served as Vice President, Clinical Affairs at EndoTex Interventional Systems, led the clinical functions for Avocet Medical and Somnus Medical Technologies and held clinical affairs positions in the Companion Diagnostics and Biorepository at LabCorp.
“At this pivotal time in the company’s growth, we are thrilled to welcome Charlene and Tim to KIYATEC. These two newly created positions are critical as we expand our clinical programs in key therapeutic areas and further strengthen our plan for the broad adoption of our patient-specific response prediction tests,” said Dr. Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC. “Their expertise and industry knowledge is unparalleled and they will be instrumental as KIYATEC continues toward its path of changing the future of cancer care by predicting patient response to chemotherapy before treatment begins. I’m so glad to have Tim and Charlene on our team as we move toward our goal of commercialization and helping patients receive optimal treatment at the earliest possible time.”
KIYATEC will be attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting being held June 1-5 in Chicago.
About KIYATEC, Inc.
KIYATEC is changing the future of cancer care by accurately predicting patient-specific response and non-response to chemotherapy drugs before treatment begins. Wasted time is the enemy of cancer patients and there is currently no way to accurately predict which cancer patients will respond to standard oncology treatments. KIYATEC has developed a validated process to use a cancer patient’s own live cells to accurately predict treatment response prior to beginning treatment.