News Feature | February 4, 2014

Geisinger and Regeneron Partner Up

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By Marcus Johnson

In an effort to spur innovation and improve care for patients, Geisinger Health System and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced that the two companies would collaborate on research in order to help find the genetic components of diseases in humans. Geisinger is one of the largest health systems in the United States, serving over three million US residents. Regeneron is a drug company that focuses on researching, developing, and distributing drugs that combat rare and serious medical conditions, some of which are passed on through hereditary means. The research pairing is set to last for a five year term, which could be renewed if the results are favorable.

Officials from both companies are excited and optimistic about the pairing. Dr. Glenn D. Steele Jr., President of Geisinger Health System, said, “We are very excited about this new endeavor. We believe that over time, this will yield significant breakthroughs that will benefit patients at not only Geisinger, but around the world.” Steele also stated that, initially, the project will be mostly a private endeavor. The team will not announce the names or identities of any individuals participating. “We take privacy very seriously. Since 1996, when we started our electronic health records journey, we have gone to great lengths to protect privacy and we will continue to do so with patients participating in this study.”

Steele believes that the research has great potential because of the financial backing of both companies and the relatively large size of the study. Both companies foresee the pairing as helping to improve patient care, and one that could result not only in new drugs, but in new technology that could help screen genetic diseases before symptoms show.