Inform Genomics Presents Biologic Validity for OnPART Predictive Networks Identifying Potential Genomic Targets for Drug Discovery

Boston, MA, June 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inform Genomics, Inc., a private company focused on developing novel platforms of genomic-based personalized medicine products for cancer supportive care, presented the biologic validity of its lead platform product, OnPART™, on Saturday June 1st during the Patient Care Session at the 2013 ASCO meeting. This poster, entitled "From Bayesian Modeling to Genomic Mapping: Biologic Validity of Predictive Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Networks for Chemotherapy Related Side Effects," highlights the discovery by scientists at Inform Genomics of Bayesian Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) networks that were highly predictive for 6 common side effects of chemotherapy including: diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, oral mucositis, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and peripheral neuropathy. To validate the accuracy of OnPART™, each unique and proprietary SNP network was mapped to the genome and associated biologic pathways.

It was discovered that the SNPs that define the risk-predicting Bayesian networks were associated with genes and pathways at the root of the six chemotherapy-related side effects detected by OnPART™. Specifically, functional attributions of SNP networks associated with regimen-related tissue injury (e.g., oral and gastrointestinal mucositis), identified genes associated with innate immune response (MGAT4C), reactive oxygen species damage (MAPK, ARRB1, FARS2) and NF-kappaB (SMC2). Nausea and vomiting SNP networks were mapped to genes associated with known neurotransmitters central to its etiology including: serotonin receptors, substance P, dopamine and neural signaling pathways. Peripheral neuropathy SNP networks were mapped to genes involved in myelination, demyelination, inflammation and toxic neuropathy. And lastly, fatigue SNP networks implicated genes and pathways for cytokine involvement as well as skeletal muscle.

"The fatigue networks mapped to genes and pathways have been implicated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome," said Dr Stephen Sonis, the first author and a senior surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. "Furthermore, the cognitive dysfunction SNP networks mapped to genes that have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that final common pathways exist between side effects of chemotherapy and other diseases affecting large populations of patients worldwide."

"Further development and validation of these Bayesian SNP networks have the potential to identify patients at risk for common side effects of chemotherapy before their 1st cycle. This has major implications for informed consent, preemptive supportive care or management, and patient selection for novel supportive care interventions," said Ed Rubenstein, president and CEO of Inform Genomics.

"The big picture implications of this work could ultimately lead to finding new drug targets for improving symptom management for the prospect of tailoring treatments to individual patients. Finally symptom science is heading in the same direction as the rest of oncology, such as the sophisticated use of bioinformatics Bayesian techniques and genomics has great potential for us," said Michael J. Fisch, MD, MPH, FACP, FAAHPM, chairman of the department of general oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

To access this poster, please visit the Scientific Publications page on the Inform Genomics website.

The OnPART™ Development Program

The recently completed first phase of development for OnPART™ was conducted as a single center study at The West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. The study included 384 patients with breast, colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer that were treated with standard chemotherapy regimens including dose-dense doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel for breast cancer; 5-fluoururacil and oxaliplatin based regimens for colorectal cancer; and carboplatin plus paclitaxel based regimens for lung and ovarian cancer. Patients were followed for a minimum of three cycles of chemotherapy and reported symptoms of using a validated questionnaire, the Patient Care Monitor®. Saliva was collected with an FDA approved kit for DNA collection, which when analyzed, can detect 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) per patient.

Using algorithms based on Bayesian methodological programming, predictive SNP networks were discovered for each of 6 chemotherapy-induced side effects with accuracies greater than 90%.

About OnPART™

OnPART™, Oncology Preferences And Risk of Toxicity, is Inform Genomics' lead platform personalized medicine product for treatment decisions in patients who will receive chemotherapy for breast, colorectal, lung, or ovarian cancer. Based upon response rates and survival, more than one chemotherapy regimen may be considered appropriate care for patients with these common solid tumors, yet the regimens vary widely in their side-effect profiles. OnPART™ is being developed to assess genomic risk for 6 common and often debilitating therapy-related side-effects, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, oral mucositis, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and peripheral neuropathy. The product includes a differentiating factor in personalized medicine, quantifying patient concerns for side-effects, using a validated, copyrighted patient questionnaire (Preference Assessment Inventory©). When commercially available, OnPART™ is expected to provide actionable information for providers, patients, and payers that will customize cancer care and improve outcomes.

About Cancer Supportive Care

Most patients with cancer receive supportive care as part of their multimodal anti-cancer therapy, regardless of cancer diagnosis, stage of disease, or treatment modality. Common side effects associated with cancer or its treatments include oral mucositis, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy. Some of these conditions are manageable with commercially available medications, while others are the focus of current drug development programs. These side effects are costly for payers, create inefficiencies' for oncology practices, may interfere with ongoing anti-cancer treatment, impair patient functioning, negatively impact the patients' quality of life, and may even increase the risk of mortality.

About The West Clinic

The West Clinic is the Mid-South's premier provider of cancer care. Over the past 33 years, West Clinic has built a team second to none in breadth of expertise, dedication to excellence, and compassionate care. Our multidisciplinary physician group is comprised of 33 specialists in Medical Oncology, Hematology, Gynecologic Oncology, Breast Surgery, Endocrinology, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Pain and Palliative Care, and other advanced medical care. With eight locations in Memphis, West Tennessee, North Mississippi, and East Arkansas, patients across the Mid-South have greater access to the highest quality care available.

In 2012, The West Clinic formed a novel partnership with Methodist Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) to transform cancer care in the Mid-South. The partnership takes advantage of the strengths and cultures of all three partners leading to the development of a fully integrated cancer program which will expand collaborative efforts in cancer research and education with a vision toward personalized precision cancer care.

About Inform Genomics

Inform Genomics, Inc. is a private company focused on developing novel platforms of genomic-based personalized medicine products for cancer supportive care. The company's business model leverages existing technology in conjunction with proprietary analytic methods to identify interactions of genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that predict individual patient's risk for developing common side effects from chemotherapy regimens. The US market opportunity for these differentiated products exceeds $1 billion annually. Inform Genomics is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

CONTACT: Ed Rubenstein

Source: Inform Genomics