Under the agreement, the parties will use GNS's proprietary REFS™ (reverse engineering and forward simulation) software platform to characterize the synergies between two commonly used classes of cancer drugs, farnesyl transferase inhibitors (FTIs) and taxanes.
"Phase I and II clinical trials have shown that the combination of FTIs and taxanes have clinical activity in taxane-refractory cancer patients," said Dr. Paraskevi Giannakakou, Weill Cornell's principal investigator for the collaboration and a leading authority on the mechanism of action of taxane-like drugs.
Dr. Giannakakou continued, "Discovering the molecular mechanism of action of this combination will pave the way towards identifying subsets of patients likely to benefit from this drug combination and will assist the rational development of therapeutic strategies able to overcome clinical drug resistance."
WCMC will use techniques to generate molecular-level data from the use of these drugs in model cancer systems. GNS will then build "in silico" models containing FTIs and taxanes together, allowing the parties to elucidate these drugs' synergistic mechanisms of efficacy and toxicity, biomarkers, and related biological insights.
"Our REFS™ technology provides the ability to simulate multiple drugs' activity in a disease system in a single model," said Colin Hill, CEO of GNS. "We aim through our collaborative research approach to develop better treatment options for cancer patients."