— Healthcare and Pharma Veteran James Karis joins as company expands its “app”-centric approach to new cancers
PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CollabRx, the company that leverages information technology to inform personalized cancer treatment planning, announces the release of a Targeted Therapy Finder application (“app”) for lung cancer. Targeted Therapy Finder apps are dynamically updated online resources that enable physicians and patients to identify diagnostic tests and clinical trials associated with therapies that “target” the unique genetic profiles of patients’ tumors. The Targeted Therapy Finder – Lung Cancer app builds on the success of the first such app released by CollabRx earlier this year for melanoma. The melanoma app was created in partnership with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as a first-of-its kind resource for cancer patients and physicians.
“CollabRx has made impressive strides in its mission to help patients and physicians make the most of the ever-growing body of knowledge about oncology. In the past year, the company has launched two Targeted Therapy Finder applications, for advanced melanoma and lung cancer”
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancer types in the U.S. (and worldwide) and is by far the most lethal, resulting in an estimated 150,000 deaths in 2011, according to the American Cancer Society. Lung cancer is responsible for more cancer-related deaths in women than breast and ovarian cancers combined. Some forms of the disease can be treated with targeted therapies (particularly for women), and CollabRx’ Targeted Therapy Finder app was developed to bring this knowledge to the people who need it most.
The Targeted Therapy Finder – Lung Cancer is available now at www.collabrx.com/lung. The app allows physicians and patients to input information about their disease – including the stage of progression, type of lung cancer histology, status of genetic mutations known to have implications for treatment, and sites of metastasis, if any. It then provides personalized treatment-related recommendations, based on peer-reviewed medical and scientific content, that may be of use to the patient and physician, such as identification of potential drugs, diagnostics and clinical trials that may have utility in the specific form of lung cancer selected. The app content is kept up-to-date by a team of scientists and top cancer experts, such as Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD, a professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, who continually monitor the scientific literature to stay abreast of new developments in the field.
“The Targeted Therapy Finder – Lung Cancer app provides physicians and their patients with a clear and high-level understanding of how tumor genetics are being leveraged to inform therapy development. This resource will allow physicians to consider all possible options in designing an optimal treatment plan for their patients,” said Dr. Salgia, the Targeted Therapy Finder – Lung Cancer lead clinical advisor.
Targeted Therapy Finder apps are the first of a larger set of related products being developed by CollabRx to support and enable patient empowerment, engagement and participation in discussing and creating a personalized cancer treatment plan that leverages the unique aspects of a patient’s medical history and tumor genetic profile whenever possible. Beyond the initial Targeted Therapy Finder apps for advanced melanoma and lung cancer, CollabRx is actively developing additional tools for all common cancer types and extending their reach to address issues important to patients with earlier stage disease, as well as the prevention and early detection of cancer.
To lead this planned expansion, the CollabRx Board of Directors has appointed James Karis the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Karis has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, healthcare services and medical device industries, and has significant experience and expertise driving adoption of innovative healthcare technologies. He most recently served as President and CEO of Entelos, a pioneer in virtual patient modeling tools. Prior to Entelos, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Parexel International, and as COO of Pharmaco International. In addition, he previously served as Vice President of International Operations for Baxter International and Founder/Chief Executive Officer of KMR Group, a leading pharmaceutical R&D analytics firm. Karis holds a M.A. in Economics from American University and a B.S. in Industrial Management and Economics from Purdue University.
“CollabRx has made impressive strides in its mission to help patients and physicians make the most of the ever-growing body of knowledge about oncology. In the past year, the company has launched two Targeted Therapy Finder applications, for advanced melanoma and lung cancer,” said James Karis, the company’s CEO. “CollabRx has started with advanced stage cancers where the need for personalized, yet trustworthy knowledge is greatest. In doing so, it has developed a unique process to collect publicly available, yet complex, scientific content and then reduce this information into a form that is readily accessible and easily digested both by patients and physicians. Beyond the Targeted Therapy Finder apps, this process holds great potential for other cancer-related needs, and even other medical conditions, and I am looking forward to overseeing the company’s efforts in those areas.”
CollabRx’ former Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Jay M. Tenenbaum, will remain as Chairman of the Board.
“James Karis has deep industry experience and a proven track record in successfully navigating technology companies to the next stage of development,” said Tenenbaum. “His joining CollabRx is a testament to the company’s long-term commitment of enabling the best possible patient care.”
Founded in 2008, CollabRx is an information technology company that uses innovative, expert-based content aggregation strategies to create and distribute high-value information. CollabRx products help inform personalized cancer treatment planning by combining knowledge on cutting-edge therapies with specific and actionable recommendations from the nation’s top cancer experts. Content and recommendations are delivered via simple and intuitive Web-based and mobility applications.
For physicians, CollabRx provides sophisticated, yet intuitive decision support tools to help them rapidly and accurately determine which medical tests, therapies, and clinical trials should be considered in order to deliver the best possible care to their patients.
For patients, CollabRx provides actionable and highly-credible information that can be shared with their oncologist in a form that supports collaborative decision making in determining a cancer treatment plan that is customized for them.
For both, CollabRx provides a foundation for patient/physician communication and engagement.