Cancer Biology Platform
Fundamental changes in cancer research led us early in our history to develop a cancer biology platform that incorporates improved models and processes for drug discovery in the new world of immuno-oncology combination approaches to cancer treatment. Our proprietary platform addresses the importance of tumor-immune system interactions and the value of primary tumor biopsies in developing new cancer models. Our proximity to and close relationships with leading China-based oncology centers provide access to a broad array of primary patient biopsies and tissue samples, allowing us to build an extensive collection of novel in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro cancer models, in order to better select targets and to screen and evaluate agents that may have significant potential alone or in combination.
As a key component of our screening cascade, our cancer models integrate elements of the human immune system, allowing us to evaluate potential drug candidates in conditions that approximate a patient’s cancer at the time of treatment. This is particularly significant when drug discovery requires evaluation not only of monotherapies but also multiple combinations and regimens targeting specific mutations while simultaneously immobilizing the defenses cancer cells mount against the human immune system.
We have used our cancer biology platform to develop four clinical-stage drug candidates that inhibit the important oncology targets BTK, RAF dimer and PARP, and an immuno-oncology agent that inhibits PD-1. We believe they have the potential to be best- or first-in-class, alone or as key components of combination therapies for a variety of cancers. We are continuing to enhance our cancer biology platform’s capabilities for the discovery of drug candidates with best-in-class characteristics and the potential for use in immuno-oncology combination therapies.