SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 09, 2018 -- Cofactor Genomics, a clinical RNA sequencing and translational assay developer, announced today that results from a collaborative study with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will be presented at the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference in February.
The study is led by Dr. Seth Pollack, an expert on sarcomas, which are cancers of the bone and soft tissues. In the advanced setting, these cancers have a median survival of 18 months. Dr. Pollack’s research is focused on the development of novel immunotherapies for patients with advanced sarcoma through study of the tumor immune microenvironment. His work has led to multiple on-going, first-in-class trials.
The study utilizes Cofactor’s RNA-based immune signature technology, commercially-available as the Cofactor Paragon assay. The assay provides both gene expression information, as well as quantitative immune profiles, which may be utilized to identify molecular markers for biological signals such as disease state, or response to therapy. Quantitative molecular profiling approaches such as this are key to developing new ways to enhance sarcoma patients’ immune responses against their cancers, and to thereby improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Pollack presented initial results of the study in an October 2017 GenomeWeb webinar, where he stated, “We’re happy about what we’ve learned in the [tumor] microenvironment, and we’ve been able to translate it into some new exciting clinical trials for our patients in the advanced and metastatic setting. But, what we really want to do is to be able to cure patients...Right now when a patient presents with one of these high-risk sarcomas...we have about a 50% chance of curing, the standard of care is neoadjuvant radiation therapy [along with surgery and sometimes chemotherapy]...Working with Cofactor, we’re exploring a set of patients where we have pre- and post treatment samples, FFPE tissue from patients before their neoadjuvant radiation and sometimes chemotherapy, and then tumor resection after....we looked at all-comers (all subtypes) in this study.”
“Studies such as this are essential to demonstrating the power of immune profiling, and ensuring that our technology has utility in a clinical setting,” said Dr. Natalie LaFranzo, Director of Scientific Projects and Market Development at Cofactor. “Working with partners like Dr. Pollack, who are experts in cancer biology and immunotherapy, is essential and rewarding. We’re pleased to support his efforts in improving patient treatment outcomes.”
Dr. Pollack will present in the Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers and Companion Dx track of the Precision Medicine and Immuno-Oncology program on Monday, February 12 at 1:10 PM PT, titled, “Profiling the Changing Immune Infiltrates During Neoadjuvant Therapy For Soft-Tissue Sarcomas”.
About Cofactor Genomics
Cofactor Genomics uses RNA to help researchers and clinicians understand, diagnose, and predict drug response for the 95% of disease that can’t be assessed by DNA alone. Founded by three former Human Genome Project scientists, Cofactor has built a proprietary platform capable of overcoming the chemical and computational challenges of performing complex RNA fingerprint analysis on clinical-grade human samples. Cofactor has contracts to provide RNA sequencing and analysis services to the research arms of eight of the world’s largest pharma and biotech companies, and is in the process of commercializing a suite of clinical diagnostic assays targeting oncologic, immunologic, and neurodegenerative diseases.
In 2017, Cofactor closed $18M in financing led by Menlo Ventures with major participation from existing investor Data Collective (DCVC) and new investor Ascension Ventures, and participation from existing and new investors iSelect, Y Combinator, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Stanford. At the same time, the company welcomed Mark Siegel (Menlo Ventures), Matt Ocko (DCVC), and John Kuelper (Ascension Ventures) to its Board of Directors. Find out more about Cofactor Genomics at cofactorgenomics.com. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.