Second Genome Announces Research Collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University to Identify a Non-Invasive NASH Composite Biomarker

Second Genome, leveraging machine learning capabilities and patient samples from studies led by VCU School of Medicine Professor Dr. Arun Sanyal, to identify microbiome signals to diagnose patients with NASH who have advanced fibrosis

BRISBANE, Calif., Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Second Genome, a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary platform sg-4sight to discover and develop precision therapies and biomarkers, today announced it entered into a research collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to generate a non-invasive stool-based composite biomarker for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Under the terms of the agreement, Second Genome will utilize its proprietary sg-4sight discovery engine's machine learning capabilities to identify a composite biomarker that can diagnose patients with NASH who have advanced fibrosis. The lab of Dr. Arun Sanyal, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Molecular Pathology at VCU School of Medicine, will provide geographically diverse patient samples, clinical meta-data, liver biopsy images and a biorepository. Second Genome will characterize the gastrointestinal microbial taxa and microbial transcriptome in NASH and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients, identify the composite biomarker and then clinically validate the model in patients who are enrolled from the biorepository or other studies conducted by Dr. Sanyal.

"Our proprietary machine learning capabilities facilitate more efficient organization and analysis of microbial insights to further our understanding of a broad range of diseases," said Nicole Narayan, Ph.D., Head of NASH Biomarker Discovery at Second Genome. "We look forward to applying our sg-4sight platform through this collaboration with Dr. Arun Sanyal and his team on generating a composite biomarker for NASH."

"For patients living with NASH who have advanced fibrosis, the current gold standard diagnosis is a highly invasive liver biopsy which can cause major side effects. There is a significant need to advance non-invasive diagnostic approaches," said Dr. Sanyal. "Second Genome's machine learning capabilities and microbial expertise will be important for developing such a novel non-invasive diagnostic marker, and we look forward to collaborating with them."

About Second Genome

Second Genome is a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary tech platform sg-4sight to discover and develop transformational precision therapies and biomarkers through clinical development and commercialization based on novel microbial genetic insights. We built a proprietary microbiome-based drug discovery and development platform with machine-learning analytics, customized protein engineering techniques, phage library screening, mass spec analysis and CRISPR, that we couple with traditional drug development approaches to progress the development of therapies and diagnostics for wide-ranging diseases. Second Genome is advancing a deep drug discovery and biomarker pipeline with precision therapeutics and biomarker programs in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer, with the lead programs IBD and cancer expected to enter clinical development in 2022. We also collaborate with industry, academic and governmental partners to leverage our microbiome platform and data science. We hold a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., utilizing our proprietary platform and comprehensive data sets to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead's investigational medicines. We also hold a strategic collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals to identify microbiome biomarkers associated with clinical response for their lead program in gastroenterology, etrasimod. For more information, please visit

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