A firm foundation for Agios

Agios Pharmaceuticals partners with Foundation Medicine for IDH1 and IDH2 cancer metabolism programs

Lloyd Dunlap
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. and FoundationMedicine Inc. will work together in a multiyear diagnostic partnership forAgios' lead programs in cancer metabolism. These programs focus on developing newcancer metabolism inhibitors targeting tumors carrying mutations in theisocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1 and IDH2) metabolic enzymes.

Agios is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developingnovel drugs in the fields of cancer metabolism and rare metabolic geneticdiseases. In addition to an active research and discovery pipeline across boththerapeutic areas, Agios has multiple programs in cancer metabolism and inbornerrors of metabolism advancing toward the clinic. All Agios programs focus ongenetically identified patient populations to leverage their knowledge ofmetabolism, biology and genomics.
Foundation Medicine is a molecular information companydedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed bya deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient'sunique cancer. The company's initial clinical assay, FoundationOne, is "a fullyinformative genomic profile to identify a patient's individual molecularalterations and match them with relevant targeted therapies and clinicaltrials. Foundation Medicine's molecular information platform aims to improveday-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academicresearchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecularmedicine in cancer," the company stated in the announcement of its partnershipwith Agios.
The two organizations will work toward identifying tumorgenomic alterations indicating which patients are most likely to respond toAgios' IDH1 and IDH2 drug candidates, and develop and potentially commercializediagnostic products for these programs. 
"Our lead IDH1 and IDH2 programs demonstrate Agios' abilityto leverage deep understanding of cancer metabolism to design first-in-classcancer medicines for genetically defined patient populations," says Dr. DavidSchenkein, CEO of Agios.
Schenkein is also a member of the board of directors ofFoundation Medicine.
"As we prepare to enter the clinic, Foundation Medicineprovides us with the most advanced genomic profiling and analytical expertisein the industry," he says. "This collaboration will further expand our insightson how best to target IDH mutations therapeutically and will help us in ourmission to bring important new drugs to patients with cancer."

The same day Agios announced its partnership with Foundation Medicine, thecompany released details on the research results published in Science by Agios scientists and their colleaguesdemonstrating the effects of the company's small-molecule IDH1 and IDH2mutant-specific inhibitors in primary human tumor models, which add to agrowing body of scientific research demonstrating the significant promise oftargeting mutant IDH1 and IDH2 enzymes as novel approaches to treating cancer,the company states.
"These papers represent the first publications to show theeffects of inhibiting mutant IDH1 and IDH2 enzymes in patient-derived tumorsamples," says Schenkein. "While IDH mutations are genetically validated cancertargets, these findings provide further preclinical support that thesemutations are driving disease, and appropriately targeted therapeutics canreverse the effects. Our IDH programs continue to produce promising results,and we are excited to advance toward clinical studies that will bring apotentially transformative treatment option to patients."

Agios is forging a new and different path to cancer treatment by targetingcancer metabolism, says Dr. Michael J. Pellini, CEO of Foundation Medicine.

"Foundation Medicine's comprehensive cancer genomic profile helps match apatient's individual molecular alterations with relevant targeted therapies,"Pellini says. "For this reason, it is important for us to partner withinnovative biopharmaceutical companies like Agios to help expand the number oftargeted therapies available and open new treatment options for patients."

Lloyd Dunlap

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