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Oncologie, Moffitt Collaborate to Develop Targeted Treatment for Gastric, GI Cancers

NEW YORK – Clinical-stage biopharma company Oncologie said on Tuesday that it is collaborating with Moffitt Cancer Center to develop oncology treatments targeting the tumor microenvironment (TME).

In the partnership, Moffitt will utilize Oncologie's bioinformatics platform of RNA signatures to analyze the tumor microenvironments of patients with gastric and gastrointestinal cancer, then use that to classify tumors as well as evaluate correlations to treatment response and outcomes.

Boston-based Oncologie also announced a partnership in January with Genialis to evaluate and predict biomarkers for gastric cancer to improve patient stratification for therapy. 

"The additional TME signature, patient treatment and outcome data that this collaboration will provide has the potential to significantly contribute to the development of a predictive test that could allow for tailored decision-making, more effective treatment strategies, and better outcomes for patients fighting these cancers," Oncologie CEO Laura Benjamin said in a statement.

Researchers at Moffitt have been investigating ways to classify tumors outside of using only genetics. Last August, they published a paper uncovering the subtypes of squamous cell lung cancer based on proteomic, genomic, and transcriptomic alterations in order to get a more expansive view of the tumors.

Mokenge Malafa, senior member of the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, noted that reported response rates of approved immunotherapies in gastric and GI cancers typically fall between 10 to 15 percent. Malafa said in a statement that analyzing the tumor microenvironment could provide a potential opportunity to enhance response rates in the treatment of these cancers and improve patient outcomes.

The two organizations expect to announce primary findings from the partnership later this year.