Gianrico Farrugia2
Gianrico Farrugia, MD

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, and Cancer Genetics Inc, Rutherford, NJ, have formed OncoSpire Genomics, a joint venture with the singular goal of improving cancer care by discovering and commercializing diagnostic tests that leverage next-generation sequencing.

“Individualized medicine and genomic testing give us a fundamental understanding of the inner workings of wellness and disease. We recognize the transformative power of these tools and are committed to using every resource at our disposal to bring individualized medicine to our patients,” says Gianrico Farrugia, MD, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and director, Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine. “That is why this joint venture is so important.”

The Next-generation Sequencing Lab of the Center for Individualized Medicine’s Medical Genome Facility, which conducts high-throughput sequencing for Mayo Clinic researchers and will play a key role in biomarker discovery for OncoSpire Genomics.

OncoSpire will focus on mutually identified projects in the Biomarker Discovery Program within Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine. Initial focus areas will include hematological and urogenital cancers, and potentially other cancers, as selected by a scientific review committee. OncoSpire will be based in Rochester and will be equally owned by Cancer Genetics and Mayo Clinic. Cancer Genetics will contribute operating capital, commercial expertise, and other guidance. Mayo will contribute in-kind with sequencing and laboratory resources, clinical and research expertise, and other operational resources. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We expect this new venture to accelerate cancer biomarker discovery research already underway at

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center,” says Robert Diasio, MD, cancer researcher and director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

Research will be conducted in genetics and life sciences labs at Mayo Clinic, including Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine Biomarker Discovery Program and the medical genome facility, a resource that allows medical researchers to investigate how individual differences in the structure and function of human genomes influence health outcomes.

Technological advances, such as next-generation sequencing, have driven down the cost to perform whole genome sequencing. What originally took $3 billion over 13 years for the Human Genome Project and the first human genome sequence now can be accomplished for a few thousand dollars in a matter of days.

CIM Visual Identity
Visual identity of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

“Our investment in OncoSpire Genomics represents the potential for a paradigm shift in patient management that can result in more efficient use of health care resources, ultimately improving the cost structure of cancer diagnosis and treatment,” says Panna Sharma, CEO, Cancer Genetics. “We expect this will add value to our commercial offerings as next-generation sequencing becomes more widely accepted by the clinical community. A major factor behind our decision to work with Mayo was the depth of their world-class clinicians and thought leaders, who we believe are in a position to drive clinical value and clinical adoption for the tests being created by OncoSpire Genomics.”


Mayo Medical Laboratories and Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology will work with Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine to help bring discoveries from the joint venture to patients at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere. According to Frost & Sullivan, a health care industry analyst, the US cancer biomarker testing market is expected to reach $11.5 billion by 2017.

“Next-generation sequencing will change the future of health care, especially in complex disease categories such as cancer,” says R.S.K. Chaganti, PhD, founder and chairman of Cancer Genetics.

OncoSpire has formed a scientific review committee, which is composed of six researchers, thought leaders, and clinicians.


The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology develops diagnostic technologies to care for Mayo Clinic patients, and offers these innovations worldwide to more than 5,000 health care institutions through Mayo Medical Laboratories. Revenue from testing supports medical education and research at Mayo Clinic.


[Source: Mayo Clinic]