PamGene, Alithea Genomics and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) secure Eurostars funding to develop a first-of-a-kind pan-cancer blood test for the prediction of immunotherapy efficacy and toxicity

‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands; Lausanne, Switzerland – January 17, 2023

MAINLINE, a Dutch-Swiss consortium between PamGene International B.V., Alithea Genomics SA and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), has been awarded a Eurostars grant of €1 million to develop a first pan-cancer blood-test for the prediction of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) efficacy and toxicity.

The MAINLINE consortium combines an expertise in clinical research, transcriptomics and kinomic profiling to take a radically new approach to identify a multi-omics biomarker profile that surpasses current single-biomarker approaches. PamGene has previously developed two CE-IVD tests for ICI therapy guidance, the IOpener® tests to guide ICI treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC and melanoma and plans to extend these studies to develop a pan-cancer predictive kinome profile for ICI therapy in the MAINLINE consortium. Together with Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Alithea Genomics will develop a transcriptomics biomarker panel using their proprietary time and cost-efficient Bulk RNA Barcoding sequencing (BRB-seq) platform. Lausanne University Hospital will provide access to whole-blood samples from ICI-eligible cancer patients to generate an extensive dataset for training and validating the prediction model. The individual kinome and transcriptomic profiles will be integrated along with clinical data to develop a novel multi-omics model, whose predictive power will be clinically validated in this project.

“The approval by the Swiss and Dutch funding agencies of our Eurostars project reflects the world-leading science and technologies we will use in our consortium to develop the first pan-cancer therapy agnostic ICI response prediction test” says Riccardo Dainese, CEO at Alithea Genomics.

Dr. Krisztian Homicsko, Lausanne University Hospital, Department of oncology, head of the Molecular Tumor Board, explains the expected clinical benefits of the consortium’s pursuit. “Our common objective is to deliver the MAINLINE IOpener-Dx 2.0, an IVD blood-test for predicting ICI efficacy and toxicity, based on a unique panel of biomarkers that are applicable for a broad range of cancers. The MAINLINE IVD will guide clinicians in patient selection to support the effective use of ICIs, thereby encouraging use of ICIs in earlier stages of cancer”.

Prof dr. John Groten, Managing Director of PamGene, affirms the consortium’s aims. “We are proud to apply our kinase activity profiling and IOpener® platform in the broader use of ICIs in early stages of cancer treatment by developing a pan-cancer predictive tool to support clinical decision making for ICI therapy.

More information and contact

About Eurostars

Eurostars is the largest international funding program for SMEs wishing to collaborate on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialization. Eurostars is a joint program between EUREKA and the European Commission, co-funded from the national budgets of 36 Eurostars Participating States and Partner Countries and by the European Union through Horizon 2020.

About PamGene

PamGene International B.V. has recently intensified its efforts to develop and commercialize its IVDD certified blood-based immunotherapy guidance tests, IOpener®, to improve patient outcomes. The company’s kinase-activity profiling technology and proprietary software algorithms support clinicians in their treatment decisions using the IOpener® assay. PamGene’s robust and unique peptide microarray technology for multiplex kinase-activity profiling is also used to provide dedicated assay services for patient stratification for clinical trials, biomarker discovery, and gaining mechanistic insights needed to understand human diseases. PamGene is headquartered in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.ugh Horizon 2020.

About Alithea Genomics

Alithea Genomics SA is committed to developing solutions that simplify and streamline the generation of “big RNA data”, which we believe will constitute the foundation of tomorrow’s research and medicine. Our technologies enable users to discover new biomarkers and develop new drugs at a fraction of the costs and time as compared to what was possible before. Alithea Genomics was founded in May 2020 by co-founders Riccardo Dainese (CEO), Daniel Alpern (CTO) and Prof. Bart Deplancke (Scientific advisor) and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

About Lausanne University Hospital

The Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) is one of Switzerland’s five university hospitals, alongside those of Geneva, Bern, Basel and Zurich. It pursues three fundamental missions entrusted by the public authorities: care, education and research. In 2021, thanks to its 12,228 staff members, the CHUV welcomed 51,205 inpatients for 500,374 days of hospitalization. It treated 80,261 emergencies, provided 1,451,300 outpatient consultations and welcomed 3,177 births. Its annual budget is CHF 1.832 billion.

To fulfil its education mission through the training of doctors, the CHUV is linked to the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne. It also collaborates with other university institutions in the Lake Geneva region (EPFL, ISREC, Ludwig Institute, University of Geneva), the University Hospitals of Geneva, as well as with other hospitals, health care facilities and institutions, such as the Federation of Vaud Hospitals and the Vaud Society of Medicine.

Since 2019, Newsweek magazine has ranked the CHUV among the world’s top twelve leading hospitals.

Watch this video of the MAINLINE project (Link), awarded a Eurostars grant to develop a first pan-cancer blood test to predict the efficacy and toxicity of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).

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