NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 26, 2010) - Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company and Therasis, Inc., a private oncology drug discovery company, announced today that the companies have entered into a research collaboration agreement. Under the agreement, Therasis will use its proprietary technology, the Therasis Filter™, to investigate and identify key properties of a portfolio of Millennium proprietary compounds. The Therasis Filter employs a systems biology approach to characterize compound mechanism of action, compound-specific biomarkers for clinical development, and synergistic combinations for combination therapy through the construction and analysis of tumor-specific molecular interaction networks.
"The Therasis Filter™ represents an exciting systems biology approach with the potential to streamline the way oncology drugs are developed," said Joseph Bolen, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Millennium. "We believe that understanding the networks of molecular interactions in specific cancer models using systems biology tools may facilitate the early identification of mechanism of action, biomarkers and synergistic drug combinations. Being able to target the patients in which cancer drugs are likely to be most effective, based on biomarkers, is critical for the rapid development of new therapeutics."
"We are delighted to be working with Millennium, a recognized leader in oncology drug development, in our first major research collaboration," said Andrea Califano, Ph.D., co-founder of Therasis. "Our teams share a common understanding of the potential benefits of identifying and targeting the multiple chemical pathways altered in a specific tumor subtype. We believe that this approach may both accelerate and add value to the way that Millennium develops its innovative anti-cancer therapies for patients."
Therasis was founded based on technology developed at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center by three internationally-recognized thought leaders: Dr. Andrea Califano, Founding Director of the Columbia Initiative in Systems Biology and of the Columbia Genome Center at Columbia University and Associate Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; Riccardo Dalla-Favera, M.D., Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Owen A. O'Connor, M.D., Ph.D., presently Deputy Director of Clinical Research and Cancer Treatment at the New York University Cancer Institute. Collectively, they bring unique expertise and decades of experience in cancer systems biology, cancer genetics and pathology, and small molecule discovery and drug development in hematological malignancies.
About the Therasis Filter™
The Therasis Filter™ enables the identification of disease-specific alterations in the networks of molecular interactions that regulate cellular processes, allowing the rapid identification of new chemical entities and synergistic combinations that target these alterations. Beginning with high throughput screening of compound libraries, the Therasis Filter™ first collects a large number of molecular profiles of chemically-perturbed cells. These profiles are used to reconstruct accurate maps of molecular interactions, also known as "interactomes". The latter are experimentally validated and analyzed to identify disease-specific alterations in tumor-derived tissues, compounds targeting these alterations and biomarkers complementing clinical development. Interactomes are also effective in characterizing drug mechanisms of action, supporting both drug rescuing and drug repositioning efforts.
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets a first-in-class proteasome inhibitor, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. in May 2008. The Company's research, development and commercialization activities are focused in oncology. Additional information about Millennium is available through its website, http://www.millennium.com.
Therasis, Inc. is a drug discovery company developing oncology therapeutics for use as single agents or in combination therapy. The Company's proprietary technology, the Therasis Filter™, represents a paradigm shift in the ability to discover therapeutic targets, their chemical inhibitors and associated biomarkers. This platform integrates world-class expertise in high throughput screening, systems biology, cancer genetics and clinical research. Therasis plans to leverage its discovery engine to identify new chemical entities for internal development and to forge collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Therasis's technology platform was developed at Columbia University by internationally recognized thought leaders in cancer genetics, cancer systems biology and cancer therapeutic development. Learn more at www.therasis.com.