The collaboration will take advantage of recent advances in bioinformatics and machine learning
‘s-Hertogenbosch – Oss, The Netherlands, December 4, 2019 – Today, two innovative Dutch SMEs active in Life Sciences, ENPICOM BV and Cytura Therapeutics BV, announced that their joint MIT Zuid R&D partnership subsidy has been granted. The project aims to develop a new biomarker and enzyme-based diagnostic assay for early cancer detection.
Cancer typically takes a long time to develop, and the challenge is to detect it at a very early stage. By intervening in early-stage cancer, patient well-being will increase, and healthcare costs will be reduced. In this project, Cytura Therapeutics and ENPICOM join forces to develop early screening and early diagnostics in this field. The collaboration means a unique synergy in therapy development, diagnostics, assay development, bioinformatics, and machine learning.
Ambitious project goals
The project aims to develop a new biomarker and diagnostic assay for early detection of cancer. Together with the newest bioinformatics principles, based on duplex sequencing and machine learning on pattern analysis in specific human (blood) cells, the R&D partnership brings a new approach to the market:
- The leap from observation of existing mutations in patients towards identification of the underlying process causing the mutation.
- To develop a diagnostic assay to demonstrate the presence of mutations in blood cells.
The main focus of this project is to quantify early cancer-causing mutations with biochemical and bioinformatic methods, based on the mechanism responsible for the early stage mutations and subsequent development of cancer.
The intended new principles will be based on duplex sequencing and machine learning and are needed to refine and accelerate mutational pattern analysis in specific human (blood) cells.
Jos Lunenberg, CEO of ENPICOM, commented: “We are extremely pleased with the R&D partnership, as it brings together two highly innovative SMEs in this field, with the right complementary knowledge and skillsets to jointly tackle this important challenge. Besides, the market perspective of this diagnostic assay is extremely promising”.
Ad van Gorp, PhD, Cytura Therapeutics CEO, added: “Late phase diagnosis, and therapy resistance are the main reasons of limited success of current therapies. Genomic instability is the main driving force of cancer initiation, development and therapy resistance. The R&D partnership will make early detection of genomic instability possible, enabling early diagnosis and interference with the compounds of Cytura. This will improve life expectancy and the quality of life of a large number of patients”.
About Cytura Therapeutics
Cytura is focused on the development of new disruptive drugs targeting genomic instability, one of the most important drivers of cancer. Genomic instability is a major problem in cancer progression and therapy resistance. Targeting genome instability could be applied both as a stand-alone as in combinations therapy. On the latter, there is a large group of patients who will at first respond to the applied therapy and later on become resistant during treatment. The long-term goal is to prevent genomic instability early on. For this desire early detection of mutations and genomic instability is necessary.
ENPICOM is an innovative immunomics data analysis company with an outstanding team of professionals. They focus on supporting immunotherapy developers with groundbreaking products and customized solutions to improve and accelerate the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies. Clinical validation projects to stratify patients and monitor treatment responses to immunotherapies under development are ongoing.
ENPICOM’s first product on the market is a world-class repertoire sequencing data analysis solution, the ImmunoGenomiX (IGX) platform. IGX is an innovative platform to manage, store, analyze, visualize, and interpret immune repertoire sequencing data from T and B cell receptors. The smart new analysis and visualization methods are also offered as IGX-service. In collaboration with DDL Diagnostic Laboratory also in a full-service proposition to organizations lacking the specific expertise or capabilities to perform repertoire sequencing.
About MIT Zuid
MIT Zuid stands for “Subsidieregeling MKB Innovatiestimulering Topsectoren Zuid-Nederland 2015”. This subsidy scheme aims to stimulate innovation in SMEs. It exists since 2015 and translates into “Subsidy scheme SME innovation stimulation Top Sectors South Netherlands 2015 (MIT Zuid)”. In 2018 MIT Zuid runs in the three southern Dutch provinces. It provides financial support for two types of projects: Feasibility and R&D Partnership. The latter concerns partnership projects of at least two SMEs focused on industrial research and experimental development that contribute to the innovation of products, processes, or services, or lead to significant new applications of existing ones.
- Svitlana Lozova (Marketing & Communication Manager)
- +31 85 250 0575
- CYTURA THERAPEUTICS BV
- Ad van Gorp (CEO)
- +31 6 12 43 25 26