The REFS™ software platform will be used to study the combination of farnesyl transferase inhibitors and taxanes.

Gene Network Sciences (GNS) entered into a cancer treatment collaboration with the Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC). The parties will use GNS’ REFS™ (reverse engineering and forward simulation) software platform to characterize the synergies between two commonly used classes of cancer drugs, farnesyl transferase inhibitors (FTIs) and taxanes.

“Phase I and II clinical trials have shown that the combination of FTIs and taxanes have clinical activity in taxane-refractory cancer patients,” notes Paraskevi Giannakakou, Weill Cornell’s principal investigator for the collaboration. “Discovering the molecular mechanism of action of this combination will pave the way toward identifying subsets of patients likely to benefit from this drug combination and will assist the rational development of therapeutic strategies able to overcome clinical drug resistance.”

“Our REFS technology provides the ability to simulate multiple drugs’ activity in a disease system in a single model,” explains Colin Hill, CEO of GNS.

WCMC will generate molecular-level data from the use of these drugs in model cancer systems. GNS will then build in silico models containing FTIs and taxanes together. This will allow the parties to elucidate these drugs’ synergistic mechanisms of efficacy and toxicity, biomarkers, and related biological insights.

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