AbbVie joins Avatar Research Program

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AbbVie joins Avatar Research Program

By Brian Berk - 03/28/2017

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. — AbbVie has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) Avatar Research Program.


Launched in April of 2016, it fosters collaboration among key stakeholders in cancer research with the shared goal of discovering and developing novel therapies in clinical trials. According to a news release, ORIEN Avatar is a collaboration between the 15 leading U.S. cancer hospitals that comprise ORIEN, leading pharmaceutical companies and M2Gen, which manages the program. AbbVie is the fourth pharmaceutical company to participate in the Avatar Program. 


"The ORIEN Avatar Research Program offers a unique and important opportunity in the effort to develop new treatments and cures for cancer," said Steve Davidsen, VP, Oncology Discovery, AbbVie. "We see enormous potential to improve patient recruitment and targeting for clinical trials, especially more in specific subsets of patients. Through the collaborative efforts of the ORIEN Avatar participants, we can magnify the collective data on specific tumor types and biomarkers to catalyze future discoveries for patients in need." 


The Avatar Program is intended to represent an unprecedented, pre-competitive approach to fighting cancer. Cancer researchers contribute samples and disease information from patients who have consented to the Total Cancer Care Protocol. This provides rich molecular data that helps identify eligible participants for clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies contribute financial support, and both companies and ORIEN member institutions receive access to de-identified genetic and disease information that can be used to inform the discovery and clinical development of novel cancer therapeutics. By matching the right patient to the right trial, ORIEN Avatar is designed to help to accelerate the discovery and development of novel therapies for millions of patients. 


"We are pleased to welcome AbbVie to the ORIEN Avatar Research Program, and inspired by their commitment, to oncology research and development," said William Dalton, PhD, MD, founder and CEO of M2Gen. "This program offers the opportunity to make great strides in how we treat cancer. AbbVie is a partner that clearly understands the potential of ORIEN Avatar; that common understanding and passion for the work will only further enable our success for cancer patients."