June 11th 2020, Oss, Solna, Barcelona – NTRC, Pelago Bioscience and Pangaea Oncology today announced that they are developing a biomarker platform for new immuno-oncology drugs as part of a Eurostars collaboration. The biomarker platform will be based on the analysis of liquid biopsies from cancer patients. In this project, spanning over three years, having a budget of 2.5 million Euro, tumor and immune cells will be isolated from liquid biopsies at Pangaea; the tumor and immune cells will be used to develop co-culture assays at NTRC and target engagement binding assays at Pelago.
The platform fullfills the need to determine the functional activity of immuno-oncology drug candidates in patient-derived cellular models at an early stage, to prevent unnecessary clinical failure. The cell-based assay platform will be applicable for small molecules and biologics, such as therapeutic antibodies. In this Eurostars project, the companies will further develop their capabilities in the genetic and immunologic characterization of liquid biopsies and the performance of complex cell-based assays using primary materials. Finally, an integrated service for discovering novel biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy and determination of functional activity and target binding in cells will be developed. The integrated service will be made available to pharmaceutical companies, biotech, hospital and academic institutions worldwide.
NTRC provides cancer cell line profiling services (Oncolines™, SynergyFinder™) and profiling on primary patient materials. In addition, it performs in-depth mechanistic analyses in cells and by biophysical methods, such as Biacore and LC-MS/MS. The company is based in the Netherlands.
Pelago Bioscience in Sweden, has developed the patented CETSA® technology as a label free alternative to determine the binding of compounds to their targets in cells. Interactions are characterized and quantified by immunoblot analysis or proteomic profiling by mass spectrometry.
Pangea Oncology is a precision oncology service company with clinical healthcare activity through its subsidiary Dr. Rosell Oncology Institute. It supports personalized medicine based on genetic analysis. Its research activities focus on the development of novel diagnostic techniques, such as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).