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SEngine, Oncodesign Ink Targeted Drug Development Collaboration

NEW YORK – SEngine Precision Medicine and Oncodesign on Tuesday announced a partnership to develop new targeted agents for multiple aggressive cancer types.

The partners didn't disclosed specific targets, but said that they will be using Oncodesign's Nanocyclix platform, which generates small macrocyclic kinase inhibitors, for drug discovery; and SEngine's 3D tumor organoids, which employ a drug sensitivity screening approach based on functional testing called PARIS.

According to the partners, Oncodesign has already tested a subset of probes from its Nanocyclix platform against a target that SEngine suggested, and this demonstrated activity across organoids from a broad range of cancer types.

Seattle-based SEngine and Oncodesign plan to evaluate the feasibility of advancing Oncodesign's Nanocyclix inhibitors as therapeutic candidates. For its part of the collaboration, SEngine will offer initial research funding to Dijon, France-based Oncodesign, after which the partners hope to pursue a larger collaboration with licensing options once the development program is at a more advanced stage.

"It is a new era for drug development, where drugs are pre-tested on mini cancers grown in 3D shortly after ex vivo derivation," Carla Grandori, SEngine's CEO and cofounder, said in a statement. "SENgine's PARIS Test is highly predictive of in vivo drug response and allows us to bring novel therapeutics towards clinical evaluation with higher chances of success."