Sophia Genetics, Realm IDx to pool sequencing tools for cancer care

Between their genetic tests for cancer screening and sequencing-based predictive models, respectively, Realm IDx and Sophia Genetics have genomics-powered cancer care covered.

The companies have signed a letter of intent to join those forces, with an aim of advancing next-generation sequencing research for cancer, from diagnosis to treatment.

The partners-to-be haven’t yet laid out the details of their planned collaboration—pending “further discussion,” they said—but they’re planning to combine Sophia’s data-driven medicine (DDM) analytics platform with the genetic variant assessment database and range of diagnostic tests developed by Realm IDx subsidiary Ambry Genetics.

“Sophia Genetics’ mission is to advance data-driven medicine to improve health outcomes worldwide. We want to bring together our global Sophia DDM platform, powered by AI and machine learning, with Realm IDx's cancer screening capabilities and early detection diagnostics,” Sophia CEO Jurgi Camblong said in a statement. “Our goal is to enable healthcare professionals to leverage insights across multiple data sources with the aim to provide better diagnosis and treatments for the benefit of patients around the world.”

Sophia’s platform and sequencing tools have so far been primarily used to build artificial intelligence-powered models that predict how patients with advanced cancers will respond to various treatments. It analyzes a range of genomic and radiomic data to build models of the diseases and their progression.

Realm IDx and Ambry are situated much earlier in the cancer timeline, with a focus on building diagnostics for early-stage pancreatic and breast cancers. Ambry’s TumorNEXT-HRD, for example, is a widely used genetic test for hereditary cancer risk that examines BRCA1, BRCA2 and nine other genes linked to homologous recombination deficiency, in which cancer cells are unable to repair themselves.

De-identified data collected from that and other tests have been compiled into Ambry’s database of genetic variants linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, which is publicly available to all researchers.

By pooling both their data analytics technologies and genetic sequencing tools, Sophia and Realm IDx are planning to develop solutions that can be used not only for cancer diagnostics and treatment in clinical settings but also to support pharmaceutical research into new therapeutics.

This is just the latest in a slew of new partnerships for Sophia Genetics in recent months. Since last summer, the Swiss company has also teamed up with OncoDNA and GE Healthcare in separate collaborations with a similar goal of improving cancer treatment.

With OncoDNA, Sophia is building an AI-powered platform able to sequence tumor DNA, spot variants in that data and suggest the most effective treatments for the variants. The other partnership, meanwhile, has Sophia and GE adapting the DDM platform to integrate GE’s imaging technology to match patients with a treatment regiment personalized to their DNA.