Recent years have seen a surge in the precision oncology market in two key dimensions. The first are efforts to guide precision oncology by sequencing tumors’ DNA and identifying actionable mutations in 300-400 cancer driver genes. The second complementary dimension is the development of new targeted therapies specifically inhibiting cancer drivers in tumors harboring actionable mutations in driver genes, a track followed now by many Pharma companies and a major source of new cancer drugs.
While these recent precision oncology efforts have led to exciting developments, their focus on just a few hundred driver genes has obvious limitations and regrettably, the fraction of patients that can currently benefit from the current precision-based therapies remains fairly modest (<10% of those sequenced in some estimations). Furthermore, the oncogene-centric approach does not provide an answer to an equivalently-significant genetic foundations of tumorigenesis – i.e. the loss of Tumor Suppressor Genes, the targeting of oncogenic events that are currently mostly unactionable and the targeting of non-oncogene addiction of cancer.
Despite the above-mentioned limitations, the ever-increasing volume of genomic data that is being collected (e.g., The Cancer Genome Atlas – TCGA) now offers unique opportunities for big data mining. A fundamental way to circumvent the limited number of actionable oncogenic-driving events is to identify molecular targets that become essential in a specific tumor genetic landscape and ones which are the basis for the development of treatment resistance.
To do so, Pangea has developed a data-driven computational approach that mines large clinical datasets incorporating multi-omics data, treatments and clinical outcomes to identify clinically significant genetic interactions throughout the human genome. Thanks to its state-of-the-art computational transcriptomics, Pangea can provide actionable insights for a large majority of cancer patients, including a ranking of the most appropriate treatments for each patient. Pangea’s platform also facilitates the development of new anti-cancer drugs, supported by unique, accurate, companion diagnostic biomarkers.
Proofs of concept using Pangea’s approach have been validated in vitro and in vivo, published in leading scientific journals and led to clinical trials for two new treatments.