Vivan Therapeutics’s Personal Discovery Process: Applications for Patient Treatment & Biopharma Discovery & Development
Personalising cancer treatments via individual patient tumour genomics is challenging due to limitations in modelling tumour complexity. Up to 75% of first line cancer treatments fail costing us $391bn annually. Oncologists have never had an alternative but to treat by trial and error. Clinicians determine therapy based on only one or two known cancer mutations. Consequently, this approach has not improved traditional standard of care outcomes.
Vivan Therapeutics (formerly My Personal Therapeutics), offers personalized cancer therapeutics utilizing technology developed and licensed exclusively from Mt. Sinai Medical Center. The Company identifies personalized cancer treatments for patients based on their tumor genetics. For each patient, Vivan buildS a genetically matched fruit fly model of the tumor, which is used for large-scale drug screening to find novel and effective drug combinations. This platform can even treat difficult cancers with combinations of approved drugs. Nearly all combinations incorporate non-cancer drugs, making them less toxic and more affordable. Vivan Therapeutics is currently focusing on gastrointestinal, colorectal, and rare cancers for which there is no established treatment.
“This could be the beginning of a new horizon in cancer care, a move beyond the current targeted therapy based on a single biomarker or commonly found mutation (such as the BRAF gene in melanoma),” said Michelle Cohen Marill of WIRED magazine (https://www.wired.com/story/could-fruit-flies-help-match-patients-with-cancer-treatments/)
Vivan Therapeutics offers the Personal Discovery Process through leading medical centers and oncologists worldwide. Using the proprietary screening data, the Company is building a powerful AI-driven digital health tool, which can predict effective treatment options rapidly. Vivan’s in vivo, high throughput drug screening platform is also used to power biopharma discovery and development.
“Our fly avatars allow us to do what no other model can - replicate polygenic tumour complexity in a living, biological system for high throughput drug screening. Our library of personalised Drosophila models is ever expanding, and we can also create custom models for biopharma clients,” emphasized Laura Towart, CEO of Vivan Therapeutics.
Please learn more about Vivan’s Personal Discovery Process, click here: https://vimeo.com/402114291
Advancing pre-clinical and clinical discovery
Background: The primary challenge in the drug development space is low success rates within clinical trials. In 2019, 6% of completed targeted therapies led to FDA approval. Vivan offers unique value-added aspects to drug development programs: (i) the ability to screen across a large number of patient models, capturing patient-to-patient heterogeneity, using (ii) transgenic whole animal models, at (iii) an affordable price point.
Whole animal screens yield different hits than cell- or tissue-based screens. Experience from several laboratories including the Cagan laboratory (Read et al. 2005; Dar et al. 2012; Bangi et al. 2016; Sonoshita et al. 2018), suggest drugs and drug combinations identified in a whole animal approach are often different than those identified through in vitro or cell-based approaches: for example, compounds identified in whole animal screens can act in sites distant from the tumor such as muscle or liver as well as the local microenvironment to reduce tumor progression.
Advantages of Drosophila as a screening platform: Drosophila has proven a powerful model for understanding the mechanisms that direct development, signal transduction, and cell biology. Flies, backed by six Nobel prizes, have clear orthologs for approximately 75% of human disease-related genes, many of which were discovered in Drosophila (Adams et al. 2000; Chien et al. 2002) and are increasingly used to explore disease including cancer (Miles, Dyson, and Walker 2011; Pandey and Nichols 2011; Rudrapatna, Cagan, and Das 2012). Flies have orthologs of most of our organs including heart, organs, muscles, liver, etc., as well as (limited) conservation of our innate immune system. Their speed and low cost allow for large numbers of animals per experiment, allowing for more robust, quantitative whole animal data.
Testing candidate lead compounds: We can provide rapid, cost effective, whole animal data on candidate lead compounds, allowing you to select the most promising chemical space. As the chemistry advances, our platform can test new candidates quickly, allowing for rapid decisions as leads advance.
Flexibility of transgenic models: Taking advantage of the rapid genetic and transgenic tools available in Drosophila, Vivan can custom make disease models that, typically, capture important whole-body aspects of a disease. These models are strongly useful for target identification as well as compound screening.
Screening compound libraries: With a growing library of patient-specific Drosophila avatars, Vivan offers rapid screening through thousands of candidate compounds. The Company use robotics-based screening to provide speed, low-cost, and reproducibility. This allows Vivian to screen small-to-moderate sized libraries
Functional mapping of targets: Most drugs and lead compounds bind to multiple targets. While in vitro methods can identify binding, Vivan’s platform allows for the in vivo identification of multiple functional targets as well as compound liabilities. Further, Vivan can often identify the specific tissue(s) that each target/liability is acting on.