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Harnessing the Power of Data in the Fight Against Cancer

February 4, 2024
Andrea Amantonico, Edgar Dawkins, Raed Hmadi, Marie-Ange Kouassi, Allison Kurz, Justyna Lisowska, Benjamin Thomas, Ada Yee

This World Cancer Day, we at Genedata celebrate the significant advancements in oncology research and development. As a leading provider of enterprise software solutions for Biopharma R&D, we are proud to be a part of this journey enabling companies worldwide to harness the power of data and technology in the quest to combat cancer. From discovery to clinical development, we automate research workflows and facilitate the interpretation of complex biological and clinical data, empowering innovation, and accelerating the development of targeted therapies that improve patient healthcare outcomes.

This article explores how we digitalize biopharma R&D and why our software solutions are key for companies committed to fighting cancer.

Facilitating Oncology Target Identification

The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a complex, cell-rich ecosystem that can impact tumor growth, invasion, and response to therapy. Therefore, its in-depth exploration can support the discovery of novel innovative therapeutics and enable the optimization of their clinical benefit. As a revolutionary technique, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) provides comprehensive insight into the complex heterogeneity of tumor cell populations This high-resolution approach enables a better understanding of cancer molecular signaling, and identification of new molecular targets and biomarkers accelerating the development of more effective and personalized therapeutics. Watch our webinar to discover how Genedata Selector® automates the processing, QC, and analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data from scRNA-seq experiments.

Once promising drug targets are identified, they need to be validated for clinical application. One of our customers, Genmab, specializing in immunotherapy development, correlated their in-house results with high-dimensional data to validate new product concepts for antibody-based therapeutics. For this, they leveraged Genedata Profiler®and its data federation capabilities to integrate and visualize their most up-to-date, harmonized internal assay data from Genedata Screener®, together with omics data from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE). Read the case study to learn more.

Supporting the development of ground-breaking treatment approaches, another customer, Amgen, targeted cells exhibiting chromosomal Instability (CI). CI is a common feature of cancer cells, characterized by frequent errors in cell division, including chromosome deletion or duplication. However, killing cells that exhibit CI without affecting normal cells is challenging. Amgen used Genedata Screener® to analyze mitotic and motor assays and demonstrated that a small molecule inhibitor of the kinesin motor protein KIF18A activates the mitotic checkpoint and selectively kills chromosomally unstable cancerous cells, validating their treatment approach. Find out more in Amgen’s scientific publication.

Accelerating the Development of Complex Immunotherapeutics

Understanding complex biological processes to develop novel targeted cancer treatment requires the collection and analysis of information-rich molecular data. For instance, in gene therapy development, mass spectrometry (MS) is an immensely valuable analytical technique for the characterization of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene delivery vehicles. However, handling and interpreting the large volumes of highly complex data generated during MS-based analyses is cumbersome. Find out in our poster how Genedata Expressionist® automates and streamlines MS data analysis, processing, and reporting for the characterization of AAV capsids, facilitating the downstream deployment of innovative gene therapies.

Despite the rise in the discovery of highly innovative and effective strategies for cancer treatment such as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and cell therapies (e.g. CAR-Ts), the characterization and evaluation of such therapeutics can be challenging and requires a highly specialized data infrastructure. In these posters here and here we demonstrate how Genedata Biologics® enables the efficient capture and analysis of all data required to rapidly progress therapeutic candidates through development, ensuring data integrity and workflow automation and simultaneously serves as a structured data foundation for AI/ML.

Improving Patient Healthcare Outcomes with Precision 

Advanced immunotherapies including ADCs, bispecific T-cell engagers, and checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of cancer but overall patient response to these drugs needs improvement. Selecting the right patient population is key to optimize the efficacy of these treatments. To do this, biopharma companies leverage a wide variety of exploratory research and clinical patient data to identify prognostic and predictive signatures. Find out in our webinar how our customer, MacroGenics, an emerging leader in immunooncology, maximizes the value of multimodal data integration and advanced analytics of the Genedata Profiler® platform to discover clinically relevant biomarkers and inform drug development strategies.

The Future of Oncology Research & Development

As we look to the future, we hope for many more transformative breakthroughs. The convergence of biopharma R&D and data science is unlocking new avenues in cancer research, bringing precision medicine solutions to patients faster. Harnessing the power of data is not just an option, but a necessity in our pursuit of a cancer-free world. This World Cancer Day, let us recognize the importance of leveraging data-driven insights throughout therapy development to provide new hope to cancer patients.