NEW YORK—DarwinHealth has announced a multi-year scientific research collaboration with Celgene Corporation to use quantitative systems biology-based algorithms, technologies that also underpin NY State CLIA-approved diagnostic tests in oncology, and novel, validated approaches focused on tumor checkpoint-targeted therapy to support Celgene’s clinical development efforts with certain compounds that were not disclosed.
The research collaboration, the C2C (Compound-2-Clinic) initiative, will use DarwinHealth’s proprietary and tumor-subtype-specific compound/tumor-checkpoint matching platform, based on the VIPER, OncoMatch and OncoTreat algorithms, and its high-throughput drug perturbation and Plate-Seq discovery platform to analyze the effects of certain specified compounds.
“The aim of this exciting collaboration is to assess, characterize, and prioritize the oncology-relevant bioactivity of certain compounds, by using our algorithmic framework with the goal of identifying their mechanism of action against Master Regulator (MR) proteins, comprising the tumor checkpoints of selected tumor subtypes covered by the collaboration,” explained Professor Andrea Califano, Clyde and Helen Wu Professor and chair of the department of Systems Biology of Columbia University, and DarwinHealth co-founder.
As part of the C2C initiative, DarwinHealth will provide a comprehensive readout of the potential clinical value of certain compounds in a cancer tissue-specific context, including its genome-wide mechanism of action and tumor-specific biomarkers of sensitivity and resistance. Through quantitative modeling, the developmental trajectory of potential treatments can be predicted with the objective of allowing for more effective Celgene clinical trial design.
“C2C promises to be one of our most fruitful and foundational scientific collaborations,” noted Gideon Bosker, M.D., CEO and DarwinHealth co-founder. “Working closely with Celgene’s scientists, our goal is to delineate the full range of tumor subtypes — many of them entirely unanticipated — in which specific Celgene compounds show anti-tumor activity that can be clinically validated. Identifying compound-tumor checkpoint-biomarker alignments is the cornerstone of our technology and, therefore, this collaboration is uniquely suited to exploiting our capabilities in the cancer drug discovery space.”
The companies believe that the collaboration may allow Celgene to quickly mature compounds to clinical human testing and commercial development.
“With quantitative, mechanism-centric methodologies beginning to revolutionize the approach to cancer drug discovery, we are looking forward to collaborating with the team at DarwinHealth,” said Rupert Vessey, president, Research & Early Development for Celgene. “We believe these mechanism-focused insights, using DarwinHealth’s precision oncology-focused systems biology platforms, may facilitate an increased speed and likelihood of success in bringing the best treatment options to patients with cancer.”