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Live cell technology to predict individual solid tumour response to treatment

BioMarker Strategies, LLC was founded in 2006 at The Johns Hopkins Science & Technology Park in Baltimore, US, and is now based in Rockville, Maryland.

BioMarker Strategies’ mission is to make personalised medicine more of a reality for patients with solid tumour cancers, by providing powerful new molecular tools and research services to guide targeted drug development and treatment selection.

Our patented SnapPath® Cancer Diagnostics System automates and standardises functional ex vivo profiling that captures the dynamic and predictive signalling information available only from live cells. Our business development efforts are focused primarily on using our proprietary ex vivo technology to provide research services to both large and small companies developing targeted therapies for patients with solid tumour cancers.

Leadership at BioMarker Strategies

CEO Jerry Parrott served Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (HGSI) as Vice President, Corporate Affairs from 2001 until the acquisition of HGSI by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012. He formerly held senior positions with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, American Hospital Supply Corporation and Walgreen Company. As Principal of his own consultancy from 1995-2001, Jerry’s clients included HGSI, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ciba-Geigy, Exogen, Genentech, HealthCare Ventures, Hoffmann-La Roche, Rock Hill Ventures, Wyeth and others. During this period, he helped take public 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, subsequently acquired by Johnson & Johnson, and InforMax, subsequently acquired by Invitrogen. He has helped launch important therapeutic products in immunology, oncology and infectious disease. He has also served as chair or held Board positions with a number of life sciences companies and organisations. Mr Parrott is now responsible for setting strategic direction and organisational development for BioMarker Strategies and its patented ex vivo diagnostics technology.

Innovation at BioMarker Strategies

SnapPath is the only diagnostics system able to generate purified populations of live solid tumour cells from live, unfixed samples in an automated and standardised manner. SnapPath preserves the molecular integrity of these living cells for ex vivo exposure to targeted therapies and combinations. This enables the generation of a new class of much more predictive biomarker tests, which we call ‘PathMAP® Functional Signalling Profiles’.

PathMAP profiles provide dynamic functional information available only from live cells regarding both initial response and the acquired resistance that too often develops in the treatment of cancer. They provide direct information about the response of solid tumour signal transduction pathways to targeted therapies, and are more predictive of individual response to targeted treatments and combinations than biomarker tests based on DNA- or RNA-based analysis of dead, fixed tissue samples.

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AREAS OF EXPERTISE
  • Automated and standardised live solid tumour processing to minimise technical and biological variation;
  • Patented technology to disggregate solid tumors into workable cell suspensions, minimising or avoiding use of harsh enzymes to preserve functionality and viability of cells;
  • Automated magnetic-bead based system to remove unwanted cell populations from samples to improve downstream molecular analysis;
  • Temperature- and time-controlled pharmacodynamic profiling for better prediction of sensitivity to mono- or combination therapies;
  • Customisable and standardised stabilisation methods of modulated cells to enable generation of multiple output samples (e.g. cellular lysates and formalin-fixed cells) for compatibility with a broad range of analytical tools;
  • Ex vivo and in vitro biomarker discovery and assay development; and
  • Development of predictive tests for targeted therapies used in solid tumours.
RESEARCH INTERESTS
  • Pharmacodynamic biomarkers;
  • Investigating the development of resistance mechanisms;
  • Identification of new targets;
  • Investigating the impact of the tumour microenvironment, including infiltrating immune cells, on drug response;
  • Characterisation of inter- and intra-tumour heterogeneity;
  • Selection of optimal therapy in patients with metastatic melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC);
  • Companion diagnostic test for cetuximab in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; and
  • Companion diagnostic tests for cancer immunotherapies in NSCLC and other solid tumours.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Profile in SciTech Europa QuarterlyIssue 27

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