The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Commit to White House Precision Medicine Initiative

The Partners Announce Collaboration on Cavatica, a Cloud-Based System for Sharing and Analyzing Pediatric Cancer Genomics Data

Cavatica Underpins New Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine, featured at the White House Precision Medicine Initiative Summit 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 25, 2016The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Seven Bridges, the biomedical data analysis company, today announced their joint development of Cavatica, a new cloud-based environment for securely storing, sharing and analyzing large volumes of pediatric cancer patient genomics data. Powered by Seven Bridges technology, Cavatica will support CHOP’s commitment to the White House Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) through the newly launched Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b).  The new Center is a featured stakeholder in today’s Precision Medicine Initiative Summit, hosted by the White House.

“We need radically new ways to empower pediatric researchers around the world to share their data and collaborate in discovery,” said Adam Resnick, Ph.D., an expert in brain tumors and the Center’s founding director. “Our work with Seven Bridges on Cavatica supports healthcare data entrepreneurship and helps everyone, including patients, participate in cancer research.”

“It’s exactly this type of partnership that cuts across academic, commercial and government efforts that will transform the clinical trial landscape for pediatric precision medicine” said Sabine Muller M.D., Ph.D. a leader on the Cavatica project and a neuro-oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

“The ‘big data’ genomics revolution presents us with unprecedented opportunities to improve treatments for pediatric brain tumors, which are the leading cause of disease-related death in children,” said Phillip Storm M.D., division chief of Neurosurgery and the Center’s co-director.

CHOP’s commitment to PMI is the product of collaborative efforts in pediatric cancer research that include national networks of more than 15 leading hospitals, additional industry partners, foundations, patients and their families. The Cavatica system is central to these efforts, integrating a cloud-based, open infrastructure with big data analytics so that researchers can leverage a growing body of curated pediatric genomic data to make discoveries that will help doctors more precisely match cancer therapies to individual children.

Cavatica will support the data sharing and large-volume genomic analysis required to empower discovery efforts for two integrated consortia:

  • The Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) – The CBTN is a collaborative multi-institutional research program dedicated to the study of childhood brain tumors. Member institutions empower patient participation in research through a shared, highly annotated biorepository.
  • Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) – With its operations center at the University of California, San Francisco, PNOC is a network of 15 children’s hospitals that conducts advanced, novel clinical trials of new therapies for children with brain tumors. PNOC supported trials focus on precision medicine approaches that leverage big data and match therapies to a patient’s specific tumor makeup to maximize their effectiveness.

Cavatica is built with the same vision and Seven Bridges technology that powers the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Genomics Cloud pilot, which is the first to give cancer researchers secure and immediate access to one of the world’s largest genomic datasets — The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) — and the computational resources required to analyze it.  In alignment with President Obama’s PMI, the Cavatica initiative endeavors to support data access on behalf of pediatric precision medicine and to address some of the technical hurdles involved in sharing and analyzing it.

“Nothing excites us more than breaking down barriers to improved care for kids,” said James Sietstra, President of Seven Bridges.  “Cavatica will help patients, hospitals, and large consortia work together to improve pediatric cancer care.”

About The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

About Seven Bridges

Seven Bridges is the biomedical data analysis company accelerating breakthroughs in genomics research for cancer, drug development and precision medicine. The scalable, cloud-based Seven Bridges Platform empowers rapid, collaborative analysis of millions of genomes in concert with other forms of biomedical data. Thousands of researchers in government, biotech, pharmaceutical and academic labs use Seven Bridges, including two of the largest genomics projects in the world: U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Genomics Cloud pilot and Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project. As the NIH’s only commercial Trusted Partner, Seven Bridges authenticates and authorizes access to the world’s largest cancer genomics dataset. The company has offices in Cambridge, Mass.; Belgrade; London and San Francisco.


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