Foundation Medicine: Top Innovative Company in Biomedicine

Foundation Medicine is one of 10 biomedicine companies included in Technology Review’s 50 Most Innovative Companies (TR50) for 2012 [1].

Foundation Medicine

Biomarker Bulletin: March 21, 2011

Biomarker Bulletin is an occasionally recurring update of news focused on biomarkers aggregated at Biomarkers are physical, functional or biochemical indicators of normal physiological or disease processes. The individualization of disease management — personalized medicine — is dependent on developing biomarkers that promote specific clinical domains, including early detection, risk, diagnosis, prognosis and predicted response to therapy.

Biomarker Commons
  • MedTrust Online, Avantra Biosciences Collaborate to Involve Clinicians in Assay Development

    MedTrust Online and Avantra Biosciences recently announced that they will collaborate on involving clinicians in early-stage development of molecular diagnostic assays to run on Avantra Biosciences’ QPDx multiplex immunoassay system.

  • Biomarker May Prove Useful for Diagnosing Knee Injury

    Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine recently discovered a biomarker that may enable doctors to diagnose a common form of knee injury. The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, has identified a specific protein complex in the knee fluid of patients with painful meniscal tears.

  • OncoTrack Launches Search for Novel Genomic Cancer Diagnostics

    A new European consortium called OncoTrack has just launched one of Europe’s largest collaborative academic-industry research projects to develop and assess novel approaches for the identification of new biomarkers for colon cancer. The five year project, Methods for systematic next generation oncology biomarker development, brings together top European academic researchers with a wide range of expertise and partners them with pharmaceutical companies.

  • Discovery of Diagnostic and Prognostic Prostate Cancer Serum Biomarkers Guided by Cancer Genetics

    An interdisciplinary team of researchers from ETH Zurich, University Hospital Zurich and the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallenhas has defined biomarkers in patients’ blood serum that indicates the presence of prostate cancer. The method used has the potential to be applied to other types of tumors.

  • SciClips Launches Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarker Database

    In the era of personalized medicine, drugs will be targeted to patients based upon his or her unique genetic profile. Biomarkers are a critical component for tailoring treatments to individual patients. Biomarkers will be used as tools for target discovery, noninvasive early stage diagnosis of diseases, for evaluation of mode of action of a drug, dose determination and prediction of the drug effect. They will accelerate not only the development of effective and non-toxic drugs but also help in monitoring patient health and response to treatment.

Digital Pathology and Visuvi Visual Search

At the 2009 JavaOne Conference in June, Visuvi Inc., a Redwood City, California-based company developing visual search solutions, announced a Java-based visual search technology that integrates a JavaFX front-end with PathXchange, a Web 2.0 pathology portal. The Visuvi Java application enables medical professionals to take a digital biopsy image of 50,000 x 60,000 pixels (that’s 3000 mega pixels) and search medical images in leading databases for similarities.

The power of this technology is that the medical images in the databases have corresponding case information. Thus, images that are found to be similar also provide information on patient diagnosis, treatments, outcomes, etc. This is particulary useful in oncology since, in more cases than you’d expect, pathologists disagree on whether a particular image shows cancer or not [1-3]. By comparing pathology images, the technology greatly accelerates the review process and allows a diagnosis to be more objective than what is currently done.

Check out their demo at the conference in the video below. James Gosling (the inventor of Java) was clearly impressed with the significance of the technology. Chris Boone, CEO and president of Visuvi, and Florian Brody, VP Marketing, highlighted and captured a section of an actual prostate cancer biopsy image and searched 90,000 images in 0.3 seconds to find related patient cases.

PathXchange is a not-for-profit professional networking portal for the global pathology community. PathXchange brings the field of pathology into the digital age with Web 2.0 features designed to promote exchange of pathological cases, knowledge and information, combining the elements of a case gallery, community content contribution and professional networking.


  1. Farmer et al. Discordance in the histopathologic diagnosis of melanoma and melanocytic nevi between expert pathologists. Hum Pathol. 1996 Jun;27(6):528-31.
    View abstract
  2. Lettieri et al. Discordance between general and pulmonary pathologists in the diagnosis of interstitial lung disease. Respir Med. 2005 Nov;99(11):1425-30. Epub 2005 Apr 21.
    View abstract
  3. Lodha et al. Discordance in the histopathologic diagnosis of difficult melanocytic neoplasms in the clinical setting. J Cutan Pathol. 2008 Apr;35(4):349-52.
    View abstract