My Personal Therapeutics awarded grant from Innovate UK to collaborate with the NIHR – London In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative to provide personalised treatment to patients with Gastro-Intestinal Cancer
London, July 15, 2020 – My Personal Therapeutics, a London-based biotechnology and digital therapeutics company has been awarded a £477,000* grant by Innovate UK , the UK’s innovation agency, to deliver personalised treatment recommendations to hard-to-treat gastro-intestinal cancer (GIC) patients, in collaboration with NIHR – London IVD Co-operative. The solution will provide a personalised alternative to traditional standard of care practice for GI cancers, diagnosed for 180 people every day in the UK.
A lack of recent improvements in targeted therapies within the personalised cancer field is attributed to current limitations associated with the practical clinical application of whole genome sequencing (WGS). While dozens of relevant mutations can be identified via WGS, in practice this information is reduced to targeting only one or two of them. When oncologists have tried to practice single-target precision medicine, promising initial results
fade as the full genetic complexity of the tumour is not captured. Identifying which drugs work in the context of these complex combination of mutations is key for the success of personalised medicine.
The Personal Discovery Process (PDP), pioneered at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, exploits the full potential of whole genomic sequencing (WGS). The Personal Discovery Process is currently offered to cancer patients worldwide, and has already delivered promising early results for individuals with hard-to-treat (GIC) cancers, (Bangi et al, 2019, Science Adv., 5 (5):1-11.) setting the basis for a radical transformation of traditional standard of care therapies. PDP employs genomics and cutting-edge genetic tools to build ‘fly avatars’ that model an individual patient’s tumour complexity at unprecedented levels. Using robotics, thousands of drug combinations are screened to identify best suited cocktails to treat the tumour while also reducing toxicity and side effects. PDP is the world’s only strategy using personalised avatars for high-throughput, high-fidelity drug screening in a whole animal model.
“This funding and support from Innovate UK will have a tremendous impact as it will enable us to create personalised treatment plans for patients in an NHS setting, collecting valuable outcomes and health economic data vital to more widespread adoption,” states Laura Towart, CEO & Founder of My Personal Therapeutics. “We are thrilled to work with Prof George Hanna and the team at NIHR London In Vitro Diagnostics Center and provide truly personalised treatment to a subset of GIC patients” emphasises Nahuel Villegas, Chief Scientific Officer.
This is the first step towards more evidence-based decision making, and will facilitate the adoption of PDP into widespread clinical practice to improve the quality of cancer patient care across public health care providers. Looking forward, the company also plans to adapt the solution to other types of cancer.
*exact amount of grant is £476,791
About My Personal Therapeutics
My Personal Therapeutics, a London based biotechnology company offers personalised cancer therapeutics utilizing comprehensive, genomics-based drug screening technology developed at and commercialised in partnership with the Icahn School of medicine at Mt Sinai Medical Center.
The Personal Discovery Process (PDP) is effectively a massive clinical trial for a single patient. Scientists at My Personal Therapeutics engineer the genetic complexity of each patient’s unique tumour network into an army of 400,000 fruit fly ‘avatars’. Using robotics, they evaluate at least 2,000 FDA approved drugs including non-cancer drugs, to identify drug combinations designed to treat the tumour itself. My Personal Therapeutics is integrating predictive modelling and artificial intelligence to enable rapid and affordable treatment recommendations.
About NIHR – London IVD Co-operative
London IVD Co-operative is a partnership between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. We are one of four NIHR centres in England that generate evidence to support diagnostic test development. We achieve this by developing research methods to expedite evidence generation – and by collaborating with various stakeholders to support this process.
We work with clinicians to identify unmet needs for diagnostics – and we work with diagnostic test developers to explore the utility of specific tests within UK NHS settings. By facilitating the adoption of new, improved tests into clinical practice we hope to improve the quality of patient care within the NHS.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn
ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.
For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org