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Aug 10, 2011

GNS and Bristol-Myers Squibb to Identify Immuno-Inflammation Biomarkers

  • GNS Healthcare inked a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to research disease biology and find biomarkers in the area of immuno-inflammation. GNS will use clinical and molecular information from a BMS clinical trial and its supercomputer-driven REFS™ (reverse-engineering and forward-simulation) platform to identify biomarkers.

    Trial data will consist of genetic information, gene-expression levels, specific blood markers, and clinical outcomes. An inflammation disease model will be developed to support virtual clinical trials designed to simulate the clinical effect of inhibiting various drug targets as well as to help predict novel molecular targets for specific types of patients. REFS is licensed to GNS Healthcare (formerly Gene Network Sciences) from its parent company, Via Science.

    The BMS collaboration comes about a month after a deal with NCI on a similar project was signed. GNS said last month that it would build computer models of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using REFS and data from genetically modified mouse models of NSCLC from the laboratory of Terry van Dyke, Ph.D., director of NCI’s Center for Advanced Preclinical Research (CAPR). The GNS-NCI collaboration is intended to identify biomarkers and biological mechanisms to develop new drugs and better match those drugs to patients.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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