Avatar Program Offers Potential for Key Discoveries of Nearly 20 Tumor Types and Biomarkers, Increased Patient Recruitment for Clinical Trials Nationwide

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. and TAMPA, Fla., March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, and M2GEN, a leading health informatics solutions company, announced today that AbbVie has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN) Avatar Research Program. Launched in April of 2016, the ORIEN Avatar Research Program fosters collaboration among key stakeholders in cancer research with the shared goal of discovering and developing novel therapies in clinical trials.

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 was borne out of the ORIEN Cancer Initiative, which launched in 2014. A first-of-its-kind effort in cancer research, ORIEN joins leading cancer centers across the U.S. to better study the disease and encourage collaboration in research and development across nearly 20 types of cancer. ORIEN Avatar's current focus areas have the potential to affect more than 1.4 million newly diagnosed patients in the U.S. annually. Patients at participating ORIEN hospitals donate clinical and molecular data through their consent to the Total Cancer Care®(TCC) Protocol, building a wealth of data that includes more than 150,000 patients to date.

The Avatar Program represents 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 helps to accelerate the discovery and development of novel therapies for millions of patients.

"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, Vice President, 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.”

"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."

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs approximately 29,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook and LinkedInpages.

About M2GEN
M2GEN® is a health informatics solutions company focused on accelerating the discovery and development of personalized medicines. M2GEN partners with the nation's leading cancer centers through ORIEN to create a large, cancer-focused data warehouse linking clinical and molecular data. Using this information, M2GEN helps biopharmaceutical companies address the greatest challenges in oncology drug development.

Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN) is a national research partnership among 15 leading U.S. cancer centers that have joined together in an unprecedented collaboration to study, treat and ultimately cure cancer. Founded in 2014 by Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus, ORIEN is based on a model of cooperation, coordination, and efficiency in cancer research. This first-of-its-kind effort has led to the construction of the world's largest cancer database, with more than 150,000 patients committing to lifetime study through ORIEN's Total Cancer Care® (TCC) Protocol. Through this specialized, innovative approach to personalized medicine, researchers can better understand the disease and work in concert towards new developments and discovery in cancer care. For more information: http://www.oriencancer.org/.

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