Alacris, GSK Make Early-Stage Cancer Research Deal
Alacris Theranostics has entered into an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to apply Alacris' ModCell™ System, developed at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and licensed exclusively to Alacris, for drug stratification using data from early-stage cancer drug discovery at GSK.
GSK will provide to Alacris preclinical biology data from a drug discovery project in oncology. Alacris will exploit its systems biology model to determine the in silico effect of the inhibitor in its "virtual clinical trial" system. Alacris will then suggest which cancer cell lines as well as which cancers are more likely to respond to the inhibitor. This will be based on whole genome and transcriptome data that is integrated in the Alacris' cancer model ModCell.
Alacris was founded by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and Harvard Medical School. ModCell allows users to identify and select from genetic data markers that, according to Alacris, can prove useful to guide treatment decisions for patients. The technology can also be used to create marker subsets to stratify potential patient populations for R&D trials involving medicines in clinical development.
In January of 2011, Qiagen signed an agreement for the acquisition of a strategic stake in Alacris and for the acquisition of an exclusive option to access all biomarkers emerging from its discovery program.