Two big names in healthcare are joining forces to expand cancer clinical research.
Irving-based McKesson Corp. and HCA Healthcare, the parent company of Medical City hospitals in Dallas and Fort Worth, said Thursday they will partner in a joint venture involving the companies’ cancer research divisions.
The McKesson US Oncology Research Group brings together cancer researchers and clinical staff who specialize in oncology clinical trials. The American Cancer Network has more than 1,400 physicians and treats 15% of all new cancer patients in the US, according to a JPMorgan report.
The Sarah Cannon Research Institute HCA provides clinical trial support services and expertise in early oncology research and drug development. Its network includes nine centers and 275 research physicians. Since its inception in 1993, the institute has conducted over 600 human clinical drug trials.
The partnership will focus on expanding clinical research, accelerating drug development through clinical trials, and expanding community access to clinical trials. Increasing access to local oncology providers and patients will help reach underserved populations that have historically struggled to participate in clinical trials, the companies say.
“McKesson and HCA Healthcare share a commitment to advancing next-generation cancer treatments,” said McKesson CEO Brian Tyler. in a prepared statement. “This new joint venture is an important step forward in expanding access to clinical trials, especially in community settings where the majority of all cancer patients are initially treated.”
To achieve this goal, the partnership will provide an expanded network of clinical trials, a broader portfolio of clinical trials, and enhanced data processing and analysis capabilities. With the help of analysts, McKesson and HCA say they can better match cancer patients with an appropriate drug trial.
The data and analytics will be provided by Genospace, Sarah Cannon’s genetic data collection software. McKesson acquired Genospace independently of the partnership. The software allows oncologists and physicians to enter genetic information about a particular patient, which is then matched against potential clinical trials.
McKesson will become the majority owner of the joint venture and will exercise operational control. The joint venture will be managed by a board of representatives from McKesson and HCA.
“We believe this joint venture with McKesson, bringing together our cancer research experts, will advance personalized therapy and provide more opportunities for cancer patients to receive new treatments,” said Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare.
Sarah Cannon CEO Dee Anna Smith will become the joint venture’s CEO. She will be joined by HCA oncologist Howard A. “Skip” Burris, III, who will serve as acting president, and David Spiegel, who will serve as chief scientist. Robert Coleman of US Oncology Research will become chief medical officer.
“When it comes to fighting cancer, building a network of collaborators is essential,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “We believe that joining with US Oncology Research will complement and strengthen our network so that we can continue to make a greater impact on people living with cancer.”
McKesson is a global healthcare leader with $264 billion in fiscal 2022 revenue. Known for pharmaceutical distribution, McKesson has expanded the company’s oncology division throughout the pandemic, helping to improve patient care and outcomes, according to a JPMorgan report.
HCA is the largest health care system in the US, with hospitals in 19 states and the United Kingdom, including 14 city health facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth. It has 45 facilities in Texas with over 13,000 beds.
HCA has maintained a strong market position throughout the pandemic, based on service diversity and volume growth, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report. Company reported nearly $59 billion in revenue. last year and $7 billion in profits. In January, HCA said it plans to build five new hospitals in Texas, including one at D-FW. He has not yet detailed these plans.