South San Francisco, California, November 29, 2016
Cofactor Genomics, a leader in a new class of RNA products for disease research and diagnostics, announced today that they have partnered with FLX Bio, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel immuno-oncology (IO) therapeutics, to develop a novel RNA-based IO analysis platform. The platform, called Cofactor Paragon, will use Cofactor’s RNA signature technology, Sigmund, to analyze the immune response of cancer patients. Cofactor Paragon is designed to replace flow-cytometry, genomic sequencing, and expression profiling, all of which are currently used in various combinations to better understand patients’ immune responses to therapeutic intervention, such as those being developed by FLX Bio. Cofactor Paragon extracts all the necessary data from a single RNA extraction.
Under the terms of the agreement, FLX Bio will apply their unique IO insights and expertise to provide purified immune cells, validation samples, and tumor samples while Cofactor will apply its RNA assay development and RNA signature technology. The two companies will jointly develop aspects of the IO analysis platform. In return, FLX will have access to data generated during platform development and a license to use Cofactor’s Paragon for R&D purposes to support their drug discovery efforts. Following positive feedback from alpha users, Cofactor is actively recruiting both academic and pharma early access beta users.
“The response we’ve had from pharma clients interested in this assay has been astounding. The decision to integrate multiple IO analyses into a single platform, while challenging, has proved to be exactly what the field needs,” stated Jarret Glasscock, Cofactor’s CEO. “Clinical researchers are most excited about the potential to replace flow cytometry, allowing access to characterize more samples, including FFPE archives.”
Brian Wong, CEO of FLX Bio said, “The field of IO is in need of cost-effective and efficient assays to accurately measure the highly complex immune response in the tumor microenvironment. Cofactor’s Paragon solution has the potential to give us a quantitative look at this immune environment more efficiently than is possible with other technologies. We expect Paragon to accelerate our efforts to bring new cancer immunotherapies through to the clinic and to patients.”
About Cofactor Genomics
Cofactor Genomics uses RNA to diagnose disease. Y Combinator backed Cofactor is founded by three former Human Genome Project molecular and data scientists who are developing key technologies to enable RNA’s use in understanding and diagnosing disease in the 95% of disease that can’t be diagnosed with DNA alone. Cofactor has contracts with 8 of the world’s largest pharma and biotech companies, providing pre-clinical RNA sequencing and analysis, custom assay development, and clinical RNA sequencing. With the acquisition of Narus Biotechnologies in 2015 and a fully-funded Phase II SBIR grant, Cofactor has expanded into the molecular diagnostics arena, centered on oncology and neurodegenerative diseases. Find out more about Cofactor Genomics at cofactorgenomics.com.
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About FLX Bio
Founded in 2015 following the acquisition of its predecessor company, Flexus Biosciences, Inc., by Bristol-Myers Squibb, FLX Bio, Inc. is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel immuno-oncology agents. The company leverages its unique insights in cancer biology and the immune system to discover and develop novel oral medicines that activate immune responses to eliminate cancer cells.
Located in South San Francisco, Calif., and funded by leading investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), The Column Group (TCG) and Celgene, FLX Bio has assembled a management and R&D leadership team with a proven track record of success and an advisory group and team of scientists with substantial knowledge and expertise in drug discovery and translational areas essential to execute on this approach. For more information, please visit www.flxbio.com.
See Press Release: Business Wire