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Molecular Response Launches TargetXTM Platform for Rapid Discovery & Validation of New Oncology Targets

Molecular Response recently announced the launch of its TargetX platform for rapid discovery and validation of new oncology targets. The program provides partners with access to the world’s largest bank of living tumor specimens, matched genomic database, and in vivo/ex vivo patient derived tumor models for validation. The integrated platform enables investigators to do in days what used to take months.

Target discovery and validation in oncology has largely relied on molecular and functional studies performed in cell lines. Recent advances in genomics have now created large databases based on well-characterized tumor tissue, which has enabled direct investigation of patient tumors for novel targets. Following these discoveries, it is routine to perform functional studies in cell line-based systems; however, it is often challenging to find a relevant cell line model and if found, there are often numerous factors which confound biology when using historical cell lines for functional studies. The result can be a process which takes considerable time and does not readily translate to clinical relevance.

“TargetX is the largest scale genomic database matched to living patient-derived tumor models,” said Dr. Mohit Trikha, CSO of Triphase Accelerator and founder of Drug Design Corp. “We plan to access it for our drug pipeline development and biomarker identification; having everything in one place allows us to do in days what used to take months. Additionally, we can now work with living patient derived tumor samples rather than cultured cell lines.”

The platform relies on Molecular Response’s proprietary bank of more than 144,000 patient derived tumor cells, of which nearly 400 tumors have been genomically characterized and databased for target discovery studies. The database is growing, but currently features the following cancer indications: colon carcinoma, NSCLC, melanoma, ovarian carcinoma, prostate cancer and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Upon discovery of a novel target, tumors of interest are immediately implanted into mice to perform functional studies in direct patient derived models–either in vivo or ex vivo. Molecular Response currently has more than 60 such patient derived xenograft models established for in vivo studies.

“We continue to focus on the use of patient derived models, both in vivo and ex vivo, for advancing oncology drug development,” said Thomas Broudy, CSO of Molecular Response. “Everybody would like to perform studies in the patient derived tumor setting starting as early as possible, but without the resource to do so, it’s nearly impossible. TargetX now enables you to do that.”

Molecular Response presented results from the TargetX platform at the AACR meeting; the company has identified a novel kinase target for potential therapeutic development. They investigated prevalence of target overexpression across 7 cancer indications, and identified melanoma as a clinical indication of high interest. Growth characteristics from patient tumors featuring high kinase gene expression vs. low expression were examined to help characterize the role of this target in oncology disease progression. Functional studies in these patient derived models to further validate the novel kinase are ongoing, as is a small molecule and antibody-based therapeutic development program.

Source: Business Wire

Elsevier Launches Web-Based Pathway Studio and Adds New Molecular Data from Its Biology Journals to Boost Early Discovery Research

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, recently announced the launch of a web-based version of Pathway Studio, a research solution for biologists. Additionally, Pathway Studio now incorporates biological data from Elsevier’s biology journals in addition to journals obtained through collaboration with third-party publishers. The addition of this data to Pathway Studio results in a resource that is unparalleled in depth and coverage of molecular interactions with supporting evidence. The new web-based version broadly extends access to researchers to reveal new insights and to assist with critical decision making.

“Currently, molecular facts are scattered in individual articles and researchers must gather and integrate these to advance new discovery,” said Jaqui Mason, Product Development Director for Biology Products at Elsevier. “Pathway Studio presents these facts in a graphical context to help researchers assemble biological models that can be applied to target discovery programs, identify potential diagnostics, and reposition drugs. The new content included in Pathway Studio can expose a more complete picture in biology, which reduces risk, increases efficiency, and ultimately improves success rate whether it’s bringing a new drug to market or exploring a theory.”

“Incorporation of facts from Elsevier’s biology journals into Pathway Studio, as well as building a pipeline of fresh data through our collaboration with third-party publishers, enables us to deliver additional value to our portfolio of solutions across biology, chemistry, and medicine in order to better serve the needs of customers in early discovery and biology researchers,” said Mark van Mierle, Managing Director of Elsevier’s Pharma and Biotech Group. “Offering a web-based version of Pathway Studio has allowed us to streamline common tasks and make the benefit of this content accessible to a broader and more general user-base.”

The new web-based Pathway Studio adds additional early discovery capability to Elsevier’s suite of life science information solutions which include Reaxys, the leading chemistry discovery engine, PharmaPendium which supports regulatory and safety activities, TargetInsights, a biological literature search system for early discovery and Quosa, which automates literature management workflows with applications in pharmacovigilance and medical affairs. This suite effectively delivers complementary solutions spanning early discovery, pre-clinical, clinical and post-launch workflows.

Source: Elsevier

Genewiz, Inc. Launches OncoGxOne Discovery Cancer Panels

GENEWIZ, Inc., leading global genomics service provider, announced the launch of OncoGxOne™ Discovery cancer panels, proprietary gene panels designed specifically to assay genomic aberrations for all major cancer types.

The Scientist Webinar: Tackling the Challenges Involved with Protein Biomarkers

Protein biomarkers have been hailed as vital stepping stones in the race to personalize medicine. But many hurdles remain to be cleared before their application becomes routine. Currently, protein biomarkers have proven useful in drug discovery and development, as tools for target discovery and evaluation of a drug’s mechanism of action, and in therapies for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Although single markers are in use, more widespread adoption will probably require a multiplexed panel capable of detecting and measuring biomarkers accurately, inexpensively, and easily in biological samples that are highly complex.

Great Point Partners Announces Sale of Caprion Proteomics

Great Point Partners, LLC recently announced the sale of Caprion Proteomics, Inc., a Great Point Partners I portfolio company. Caprion is a leading provider of proteomic services to the pharmaceutical industry that include: (i) biomarker discovery, (ii) biomarker validation, (iii) drug target discovery, (iv) advanced immune monitoring services, and (v) in-vitro diagnostics development. Under Great Point’s investment, Caprion grew EBITDA by over 300x. The growth was primarily driven through strong organic growth, industry leadership and accretive tuck-in acquisitions.