SAN FRANCISCO and SHANGHAI, Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --Today, Driver, a global technology platform that connects cancer patients to the best treatments, launches in the United States and China. Driver's platform enables any patient, anywhere in the world, to access treatment options across an unprecedented network of cancer centers without leaving home.
While there have never been more cancer treatments available, patients and their doctors are unaware of all of these options, and consequently patients are not living as long as they could given the treatments that exist today. Driver's platform eliminates this knowledge gap, empowering patients to access the best treatments all over the world.
The US National Cancer Institute and the Chinese National Cancer Center are the founding members of Driver's global network. To date, more than thirty leading cancer centers comprise Driver's network, including the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, University of California Los Angeles, Duke, University of North Carolina, and Emory.
"In a world of Amazon, Airbnb, and other technology platforms that have revolutionized our ability to access products and services, consumers deserve the same transformative power of these next-generation marketplaces when they are facing cancer and require treatment," said Dr. William R. Polkinghorn, Co-founder and CEO of Driver, and a radiation oncologist formerly on the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
"In 2018, cancer patients are still required to enter a brick-and-mortar hospital and interact with a doctor just to learn their treatment options," said Dr. Petros Giannikopoulos, Co-founder and President of Driver. "This is a problem because different hospitals have different treatments, different doctors have different knowledge, and consequently too many patients fail to receive the best available treatment."
Driver's platform occupies the empty space between the patient and the hospital. Patients join the platform using a mobile app, through which Driver obtains consent to acquire the necessary information -- medical records and tumor samples -- to connect them to their best treatment options. The patient receives treatment options for both guideline-based standard of care and clinical trials available through Driver's network. Patients have the opportunity to review their treatment options over video with an expert oncologist, and then can select a hospital within the Driver network for further evaluation. Driver arranges the appointment at each patient's hospital of choice and delivers their records and other information required for the evaluation.
"While great advances have been made in personalizing cancer treatments in recent years, many patients are unaware of all of their options," said Dr. Keith Flaherty, Director of the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies at Massachusetts General Hospital, a member of the Driver network. "Driver's approach could revolutionize the way that treatment options are presented to patients at essential junctions in their care."
To extract the information from patients' records and tumor samples, Driver's platform utilizes a combination of proprietary software and hardware, including two automated clinical laboratories, one in San Francisco and a second in Shantou, China. Driver validated its treatment matching software in collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute, the results of which were presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In addition, both Driver's US and China laboratories are certified under the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program, and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the gold standard in laboratory accreditation.
Driver's lead investor is Horizons Ventures (Li Ka Shing), with whom Driver has partnered from its inception to build its platform in China in parallel to the United States. From Driver's software tools to its automated laboratory to its cloud-agnostic software architecture, Driver processes patient information in China identically to patient information in the United States. With headquarters in both Shanghai and San Francisco, Driver is the first technology platform to co-launch in the United States and China.
"We are in the midst of a revolution in our understanding of cancer, which has yielded an unprecedented number of new treatment strategies, and this revolution is unfolding across the world, and increasingly in China," said Dr. Alan Ashworth, President of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and a member of Driver's scientific advisory board. "Yet many patients, and physicians for that matter, are unaware of all of their options. A new technology platform that endeavors to give patients access to all of their options by definition needs to be global to not only help patients today, but also accelerate progress in clinical research for future patients everywhere."
About Driver Based in San Francisco and Shanghai, Driver is a technology platform that connects cancer patients to treatments and knowledge, all over the world, to get more life. With an app for the patient and an app for the doctor, Driver's platform enables any cancer patient, regardless of their location, to access treatment options across Driver's global network of cancer centers without leaving home. Driver's network includes over 30 of the world's leading cancer centers, including its founding members the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Chinese National Cancer Center. Other members of Driver's network include the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of California San Francisco, University of California Los Angeles, Duke, University of North Carolina, and Emory. Driver was founded in 2015 by two physicians, Dr. William R. Polkinghorn and Dr. Petros Giannikopoulos, and Driver's lead investor is Horizons Ventures (Li Ka Shing).
Driver Global Network
Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
Chinese National Cancer Center
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Columbia University Medical Center
Weill Cornell Medicine
Duke Cancer Institute
Emory Winship Cancer Institute
Futang Research Center of Pediatric Development and Beijing Children's Hospital
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at HonorHealth
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Howard University Cancer Center
Mayo Clinic - Jacksonville
Mayo Clinic - Phoenix
Massachusetts General Hospital
Miami Cancer Institute
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Institute
NYU Langone Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center
National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States Department of Health and Human Services
Ochsner Medical Center
Oregon Health and Sciences University
University of Rochester Medical Center Wilmot Cancer Institute
Stanford Cancer Institute
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
University of California Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and TRIO - US
University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center
University of Virginia Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center
University of Texas Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
National Cancer Center of Singapore
Driver Co-founder Biographies William R. Polkinghorn, MD is a physician scientist, formerly on the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where his translational research and radiation oncology practice focused upon improving the treatment of high-risk prostate cancer. Dr. Polkinghorn obtained an MBA from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow, and completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He then completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Charles L. Sawyers. For his research, Dr. Polkinghorn has been awarded the Prostate Cancer Foundation Creativity Award, ASCO Young Investigator Award, and the Charles A. Dana Fellowship.
Petros Giannikopoulos, MD is a board-certified pediatric, molecular genetic and anatomic pathologist. Dr. Giannikopoulos obtained his MD from Harvard Medical School, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow. He then completed his internship and anatomic pathology training at UCSF, after which he completed fellowships in both pediatric pathology at Baylor College of Medicine and molecular genetic pathology at Harvard. The Harvard molecular genetic pathology fellowship included training in all of the diagnostic laboratories affiliated with Harvard, including Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, and the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine. During his fellowship, Dr. Giannikopoulos also pursued postdoctoral research in next-generation cancer genomics at the Broad Institute.
UC Disclaimer: The information stated above was prepared by Driver and reflects solely the opinion of Driver. Nothing in this statement shall be construed to imply any support or endorsement of Driver, or any of its products, by the Regents of the University of California, its officers, agents and employees.
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