PamGene, Novigenix and Radboud University Medical Center secure Eurostars funding to develop a multi-omic predictive immunotherapy response test for bladder cancer patients

PRECISE, a Dutch-Swiss consortium between PamGene International B.V., Novigenix SA and Radboud University Medical Center, has been awarded a Eurostars grant of up to €1 million to develop a novel in-vitro diagnostic liquid biopsy test for accurate prediction of response to immunotherapy in bladder cancer patients. Although immunotherapy can be highly effective and have durable results, only a minority of patients respond and benefit from this therapy. The PRECISE consortium will focus on solutions for this unmet medical need.

The test is unique in its multi-omics approach of combining two blood-based liquid biopsy technologies, mRNA and kinase activity profiling, which is expected to strengthen a biological-driven biomarker test for prediction of response to immunotherapy. Proof-of-concept studies in metastatic bladder cancer showed an unrivaled accuracy and sensitivity for the prediction of a bladder cancer patient’s response to immunotherapy after combining data of the host immune response based on mRNA transcriptomics and protein kinase activity profiling.

Novigenix leverages its core competencies in immuno-transcriptomics and provides artificial intelligence solutions for the development of multi-omic biomarkers and predictive algorithms. PamGene brings its unique kinome technology and biomarker expertise, and the group of Dr. Niven Mehra, Department of Medical Oncology at Radboud University will lead a clinical study for prospective collection of biological specimens and data interpretation in the bladder cancer field.

The right treatment at the right time
Dr. Mehra, oncologist at Radboud University Medical Center, explains the benefits of the consortium’s pursuit. “The objective of this collaboration is to fulfill a significant medical unmet need. Time is a critical factor in bladder cancer treatment because of the cancer’s aggressive nature. Combined with the fact that only 20% of patients have a clear benefit from immunotherapy, this blood-based diagnostic test has the potential to become an important tool in oncology to provide the right treatment for the patient at the right time.”

First high-performance test predicting immunotherapy response in bladder cancer
“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 high performance multi-modal liquid biopsy test for the prediction of anti-PD1 response in bladder cancer patients,” says Dr. Brian Hashemi, Executive Chairman at Novigenix. “The high Eurostars review score placed the project in the top 5% of its peers, and we believe its completion can significantly improve personalized immunotherapy for better patient outcomes and optimized health economics.”

Combining technology, knowledge and experience
John Groten, Managing Director of PamGene, affirms the consortium’s aims. “We are proud to use and share our experience in kinase activity profiling for immunotherapy treatment selection from our IOpener®-melanoma and IOpener®-NSCLC tests. By combining every consortium member’s technology, knowledge and experience we will explore how biomarkers can be used to change the therapeutic paradigm for bladder cancer patients by providing accurate, personalized treatment recommendations.”

More information and contact
– Novigenix: www.novigenix.comDr. Brian Hashemi – +41 788 098 544 –    
– PamGene: www.pamgene.comRinie van Beuningen – +31 736 158 080 –
– Radboud UMC:

About Eurostars
Eurostars is the largest international funding programme for SMEs wishing to collaborate on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialisation. 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 Novigenix
Novigenix is committed to providing a new understanding of the human host response against cancer and its response to therapy. The Company was founded on the vision that Immuno-Transcriptomics will bring unprecedented advances in diagnosing and treating cancer patients, leading to significant improvement in healthcare. Novigenix’s unique Immuno-Transcriptomics technology platform enables an accelerated identification of disease specific mRNA signatures of immune cells, which combined with machine learning and predictive algorithms provides new insights into onset and progression of disease.

About PamGene
PamGene International B.V. is an in-vitro diagnostics company which has recently intensified its efforts to develop and commercialize a blood-based immunotherapy selection test, the IOpener®, to improve patient lives. 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 in cellular processes needed to understand human diseases. PamGene was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.

About Radboud UMC
The Radboud University Medical Center is a leading academic center for patient care, education and research, with the mission to have a significant impact on healthcare. Our activities help improve healthcare and consequently the health of individuals and of society. We believe we can achieve that by providing excellent quality, participatory and personalized healthcare, operational excellence and by working together in sustainable networks.

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