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Protagen, NCT, NEC Partner on Prediction of Immunotherapy Response in Melanoma

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Protagen said today it is collaborating with Germany's National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) and NEC Laboratories Europe to improve approaches for in silico prediction of immunotherapy response in patients with malignant melanoma.

Under the collaboration, the parties will use machine learning approaches to develop biomarker models for immunotherapy endpoints, including adverse effects, clinical response, and survival.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The work builds on a collaboration between Protagen and the NCT announced last year that is using Protagen's SeroTag autoantibody analysis platform to identify biomarkers for predicting response to immunotherapy in melanoma patients.

"We see this project as an opportunity to address the challenges posed by limited response rates and [immune-related adverse effects] utilizing machine learning and AI," Jessica Hassel, a group leader at the NCT, said in a statement. "Although to date its impact remains low, we are convinced that from the molecular characterization of tumors to personalized treatment, machine learning will be increasingly important, hence we look forward to this collaboration."

"Immunotherapies are a new cornerstone in treating cancer patients. An important challenge is to understand which patients are most likely to respond or suffer from [immune-related adverse effects]," Protagen CEO Georg Lautscham added. "Protagen has developed an immuno-profiling approach and machine-learning strategies to deal with highly dimensional patient data to address this."