Biovica said today it will partner with the laboratory of Thomas Helleday, Ph.D., at Karolinska Institutet in a venture aimed at improving evaluation and development of new cancer therapies. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.
Biovica said the collaboration will assess whether information gathered with Biovica’s DiviTum™ assay can provide early evidence of efficacy regarding the development of two promising cancer treatments.
Dr. Helleday’s lab is developing the two drug candidates, which are designed to target DNA damage repair functions—specifically, by exploiting the high level of DNA damage in cancer cells to prevent the repair of these lesions.
MTH1 inhibitors targeting DNA repair can generate toxic DNA damage selectively in cancer cells. The impact of these compounds on cell cycle activity can be evaluated with DiviTum™, an assay that measures an enzyme that regulates cell proliferation.
Biovica said the collaboration will address whether those enzyme level measurements can be used toward predicting and evaluating efficacy, as well as providing early evidence of a potential responder biomarker for new treatments.
“With our DiviTum™ technology we want to bring value to drug developers by providing them with a tool for better evaluation and more informed decisions earlier in the development process,” Biovica CEO Anders Rylander said in a statement.
The Helleday lab aims to identify new anti-cancer targets and develop anti-cancer drugs with minimal side-effects, based on translating the findings from basic research programmes on DNA repair and survival mechanisms within cancer cells. The laboratory consists of approximately 70 researchers, Ph.D. students, and postdocs, and is located at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab), a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences hosted by Karolinska and three other Swedish universities: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University.