Epinomics teams up with Parker’s I-O Institute for biomarker work

Epinomics will work with billionaire Sean Parker's cancer center

Researchers from Epinomics have penned a collaboration with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to use biomarkers from the company to help boost outcomes and lower adverse events in immunotherapy trials.

The deal sees Epinomics work with the Institute’s director Crystal Mackall. The center was set up with funds from the Facebook and Napster billionaire Sean Parker, who is also funding what could be the first CRISPR trials in the U.S.

“The insights from this work will serve to direct further improvements for these therapeutics that will be pursued at Stanford and the set of biomarkers will be employed in clinical use moving forward,” said Fergus Chan, who co-founded Epinomics back in 2013.

“Joining forces with Dr. Mackall and her team at Stanford will enable us to bring precision medicine to these immunotherapies.”

Dr. Mackall added: “I know we will benefit greatly from the expertise Epinomics has in the epigenomics field, including their analytics platform that is advancing therapeutic development efforts and discovery of biomarkers for use in clinical care for immuno-oncology applications.”

Paul Giresi, also a co-founder of Epinomics, says that immunotherapy has proved in some patients to be a strong new class of cancer medicine, helping the immune system to attack tumors.

But he explained that, to date, there is no ‘gold standard’ when it comes to either application or monitoring for this type of therapy, and it is not always clear which patients will benefit from these new types of drug.  

“The key to unlocking this potential in immuno-oncology has been the development of a new technology for reading the epigenome and creation of a deep analytics framework that serves as a central intelligence hub for understanding immune function in human health and disease,” he said.

“Using this framework can derive measures (biomarkers) of immune function across both healthy baseline samples and disease to enable investigators to pinpoint the key immunological features that are the drivers of human disease and are predictive of clinical outcomes.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.