TAMPA, Fla.-- M2GEN, a health informatics solutions company focused on accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of precision medicine, announced today a $3 million donation to fund seven team science research projects as part of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® ORIEN) New Oncologic Visionary Awards (NOVA) program.

Each project will bring together researchers from a variety of leading cancer centers around the country, including ORIEN’s founding members, Moffitt Cancer Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, to address some of cancer’s toughest questions. Each of the awarded projects are led by ORIEN Member institutions, an alliance of key oncology stakeholders dedicated to breaking down the silos that can inhibit discovery and progress. The ORIEN NOVA program was designed to advance research by encouraging collaborative multidisciplinary team science across the ORIEN members, allowing researchers to share information and expertise, to ultimately improve patient care.

“Cancer is a complicated disease, and no single entity can solve it alone – innovative partnerships and access to data are the keys to answering cancer’s toughest questions,” said William S. Dalton, PhD, MD, Executive Chair of M2GEN. “We’ve initiated the ORIEN NOVA program to give researchers and physician scientists the opportunity to access all of the resources of ORIEN’s research alliance, breaking down barriers between institutions to enable rapid learning and accelerate research efforts and discovery to bring new treatments to patients. Together with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, we have setup the ORIEN Foundation in March of this year to support future NOVA awards which will help facilitate ongoing research collaborations across ORIEN members for years to come.”

More than 60 proposals were received from ORIEN cancer center faculty across the United States. Three ORIEN Avatar NOVA grants totaling $2 million and four ORIEN Investigator Initiated Proposal (IIP) NOVA grants totaling $1 million were selected after a scientific, peer-review of the proposed projects. Selected projects included those that demonstrated the potential for high-impact cancer research, as well as utilization of new data analytics and data acquisition tools. View the full list of ORIEN Member recipients.

“We are honored that our research project, led by Dr. Donghai Dai, was selected for the ORIEN NOVA grant, and grateful to M2Gen for their continued efforts to support collaborative research in the oncology field,” said George Weiner, MD, Director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We are eager to address the development of intra-tumor driver mutation prevalence and this funding gives us a runway to accelerate this valuable work.”

“The future of science lies in collaboration and our team is thrilled to work alongside seven other leading cancer centers to advance Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma research as a result of ORIEN’s NOVA grant program,” said Walter Curran Jr., MD, Executive Director of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Selected research projects were reviewed, scored and chosen by a scientific review panel consisting of ORIEN scientists and external researchers from cancer centers across the country.

If you are interested in supporting the ORIEN Foundation’s effort to accelerate cancer research, please visit the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay website: https://cftampabay.org/give_now/orien/.

About M2GEN
M2GEN is a health informatics solutions company focused on accelerating the discovery and development of precision medicine. M2GEN partners with the nation's leading cancer centers through the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) to implement the Total Cancer Care® (TCC) Protocol creating 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.

The Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), brings together key stakeholders in the treatment and care of cancer patients. This national network, powered by M2GEN, breaks down silos that can inhibit progress, allows researchers to share information and expertise, and facilitates collaboration amongst top cancer centers. By leveraging our informatics platform, we create an offering that brings real-world evidence to bear on specific research needs.

ORIEN Members are some of the nation’s leading cancer institutions that recognize collaboration and access to data are the keys to cancer discovery. There are currently 19 Cancer Center members working together to leverage multiple data sources and match patients to targeted treatments. To view the current member list and learn more about their research and impact, visit oriencancer.org.

ORIEN AVATAR is a unique, longitudinal data model which collects clinical and molecular information from TCC Protocol consented patients. In consultation with the ORIEN Members, M2GEN identifies cohorts of “high risk” patients, i.e., those with advanced primary or metastatic disease, who have limited treatment options, are likely to develop progressive disease and can benefit most from clinical trial enrollment.

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