Tailor Bio wins £650,000 grant for ovarian cancer collaboration with Illumina and University of Cambridge

Precision medicine start-up Tailor Bio has won a £650,000 grant to collaborate with Illumina and the University of Cambridge on a new diagnostic test that will predict how patients with ovarian cancer will respond to a chemotherapy drug.

The Cambridge company, based on research from Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, is developing a pan-cancer AI-driven precision medicine platform to produce new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to improve patient care.

Jason Yip, CEO of Tailor Bio

Its technology is based on the genomic phenomenon of chromosomal instability, present in 80% of all cancers.

He leads the collaboration that won the Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Prize grant, which will fund the first test capable of detecting whether patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer will respond to doxorubicin.

More than 7,000 people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year and many will be prescribed this common chemotherapy drug, but only around half will actually benefit from it.

Tailor Bio’s test will confirm which patients will not respond well, allowing them to avoid potential toxic side effects and the cost of ineffective treatment.

The project will assess the compatibility of Tailor Bio’s technology with the Illumina TruSight Oncology (TSO) Comprehensive (EU) test, which recently received CE-IVD certification in Europe and is being implemented across the NHS as an in-patient diagnostic. vitro.

This is the second grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to support the commercialization of Tailor Bio’s technology platform and follows the successful development of a prototype under from the Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, run by the Granta Park-based sequencing giant.

Jason Yip, CEO of Tailor Bio, said: “We are delighted that Innovate UK continues to support the commercialization of our technology. In addition to addressing an unmet need in ovarian cancer, Tailor’s doxorubicin test is a critical step for us to validate our precision medicine platform.

“Stratifying patients away from ineffective treatments is beneficial, but Tailor Bio’s ultimate goal is to develop better therapeutic treatments for cancers with chromosomal instability.”

Dr. Amanda Cashin, Co-Founder and Global Head of Illumina for Startups, said, “We are honored to continue our partnership with Tailor Bio, one of the first genomics start-ups in Illumina’s first round of funding. Cambridge Accelerator. It’s fantastic to see Tailor Bio honored with the Innovate Award as it strives to discover pioneering treatments for cancer patients around the world.

Tailor Bio scientists recently published research in Nature on Chromosomal Instability (CIN), which leads to the accumulation of large-scale DNA losses, gains and rearrangements. It assessed the extent, diversity and origin of CINs in 7,880 tumors, representing 33 cancer types, and presented a compendium of 17 digital copy signatures characterizing specific types of CIN.

These signatures, the company said, can help predict drug response and identify new drug targets.


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