Insilico Medicine, Inc and Champions Oncology announce research collaboration on drug discovery and in silico drug efficacy evaluation in oncology
BALTIMORE, November 06, 2014 – Insilico Medicine, Inc, a Baltimore-based bioinformatics company focused on research in aging and age related diseases announced a research collaboration with the international leader in personalized medicine of cancer, Champions Oncology, Inc.
“There are many companies utilizing advances in genomics for personalized medicine, but Champions Oncology’s TumorGraft technology is unique in a way that it can validate the chemotherapy regimen experimentally generating vast amounts of valuable data. Our bioinformatic analysis showed that molecular signatures of patient tumor grafts in mice are very similar to signatures of cancer in patients before and after treatment. We established this research collaboration to further validate these preliminary findings,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.
Champions TumorGrafts are a personalized approach used to guide physician treatment decisions for cancer patients. A piece of the patient’s living tumor is removed during surgery or biopsy and engrafted in immune-deficient mice. After the TumorGraft grows, still closely resembling the patient’s tumor, Champions Oncology tests drug treatments in the TumorGraft and measures the response. TumorGraft has demonstrated high rates of predictability using multiple therapies, including single-agent and combination, chemotherapy regimens and targeted biological drugs.
Every TumorGraft is preserved as a living sample for future patient use. These banked TumorGrafts can be re-grown and tested in the event of cancer progression or recurrence. In oncology drug development, TumorGraft models are utilized extensively by pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations to predict the clinical effectiveness of their compounds in targeted patient populations.
“Our preliminary collaboration with Insilico Medicine showed some exciting results that may be of interest to both the academic and industry communities,” said KerenPaz, chief Scientific Officer at Champions Oncology.
In the scope of this research collaboration Insilico Medicine will analyze a portion of Champions Oncology gene expression data sets from tumor grafts before and after treatment with chemotherapy drugs and compare the signaling pathway activation state(SPAS) changes with the SPAS changes in human patients.
“Champions’ Tumorgraft technology stems from many years of breakthrough science generated in the most credible, productive and innovative cancer research laboratories headed by Dr. David Sidransky, who’s work we greatly admire. We believe that the TumorGraft technology has broad applications in drug discovery and drug repurposing in aging and age-related diseases that were previously overlooked. This research collaboration may pave the way for a comprehensive drug discovery and development pipeline, where drugs and drug candidates may be selected and prioritized using in silico approaches and tested in human tissues engrafted into Champions Oncology mice or other animal models,” said Qingsong Zhu, PhD, Chief Operating Officer, Insilico Medicine, Inc.
BALTIMORE, October 28, 2014 – Through this unique partnership, the Baltimore-based Insilico Medicine and Lethbridge-based CCARL will provide expertise in aging research and build on the personalized medicine and drug discovery platforms OncoFinder and GeroScope to develop new systems for age-related diseases. During the first phase of collaboration, Insilico Medicine and CCARL drug discovery and personalized medicine efforts will focus on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Plantbiosis will simultaneously validate the system, experimentally.
Through its agreement with the University of Lethbridge, Plantbiosis has access to state of the art gene expression, sequencing, epigenetic research, metagenomic, cell line banks and cell culture facilities. It also brings over five years of experience in data acquisition, mining and processing and complements access to infrastructure with a team of trained scientists and technicians.
“Aging is a true global pandemic, which kills more people daily than any other disease and extending productive longevity will not only decrease pain and suffering, but will also provide a significant boost to the global economy. However, before we can look for interventions that may be effective in slowing down the aging processes, we need to understand the systemic changes in defensive and pathological states in many age-related diseases. We started this journey in cancer and now we are going after other diseases that will help us gather the data for a grand plan of attack on aging. And while we are already helping improve decision making in clinical oncology with OncoFinder, we are happy to collaborate on development of a platform to better personalize disease modifying drugs for treatment of multiple sclerosis”, said Olga Kovalchuk, MD/PhD, MBA, CEO of Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories, Ltd.
During the course of collaboration, the companies will build a statistical database of tissue-specific changes in signalome, interactome and epigenome in a variety of age-related diseases and normal aging to understand the intricate interplay between pathologic and defensive states.
“We are very happy to partner with CCARL and Plantbiosis led by the highly-productive ambitious and driven scientists, who are looking beyond classical approaches to age-related disease research and are going after the grand prize, which is aging. They are looking to change the biomedical paradigm from treatment to prevention and are the only companies in Canada with the vision and tools to do that”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.
Insilico Medicine to fund CCARL’s pilot research study in personalized medicine and aging research.
BALTIMORE, October 23, 2014 – InSilico Medicine, the company focused on drug discovery for cancer and age-related diseases, announced its investment in a research collaboration with Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories, Inc (CCARL). The companies will collaborate on improving decision making in clinical oncology and discovery, and personalized medicine projects in multiple sclerosis (MS).
“Dr. Olga Kovalchuk was included into Canada’s 40 under 40 and 25 most influential women in the Canadian market for a very good reason. We were very impressed by the level of enthusiasm, expertise and quality of scientific research in genetics and epigenetics in her lab at the University of Lethbridge. CCARL has many innovative ideas on how to apply aging research to drug discovery and personalized medicine and accelerate human trials. They came up with a very clever trick on how to extrapolate some of the personalized medicine in oncology to multiple sclerosis. Their world-class team brings decades of experience in epigenetics, metagenomics and proteomics and approaching aging from a completely new angle which may result in practical applications within the next several years. Solving aging will require a concerted global effort and we would like to partner with one of the top research teams in Canada”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.
The mechanisms and causes of multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory disease on nerve cells, are not fully understood. MS commonly reveals itself between ages of 20 and 50, and results in significant decrease in life expectancy and loss of productivity. This partnership aims to advance knowledge and science dedicated to this disease and more.
“To my knowledge CCARL is the first company in Canada to engage into personalized medicine in clinical oncology with the aim to better understand the underlying age-related pathologic processes and use that knowledge for geroprotectors discovery”, said Evgeny Makariev, director of aging research at Insilico Medicine, Inc.
“We are happy to receive an investment from and establish a research collaboration with some of the world’s top thought leaders in Big Data analysis for aging research. We are already using the OncoFinder platform for improving decision making in clinical oncology and will be using a significantly more expanded system for MS. Understanding MS will help us unlock several misteries of aging at once”, said Olga Kovalchuk, PhD, CEO of CCARL.
InSilico Medicine and partners provide a clear, illustrative map that allows scientists to understand MDSC conditions, and furthermore the means to infiltrate them
BALTIMORE, September 30, 2014 – Scientists from InSilico Medicine and its partners successfully established a visual mapping of the molecular pathway cancer progression originating from myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC). The damage and immune suppression the cells cause are not fully understood, however this is a major stepping stone in creating necessary transparency.
“MDSCs are elicited by tumor-derived factors from precursors present in hematopoietic organs such as the bone marrow and possibly spleen. This population of cells suppresses the activity of various types of immune cells and contributes to tumor progression by promoting tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. But the key transcriptional regulators of MDSC are still poorly defined. Alex and colleagues used bioinformatic tools to investigate the pathway interactome maps in colon and breast cancer models. Several proliferation and invasion-related pathways were identified in infiltrating MDSC. It opens a door to new therapy targeting MDSC in these diseases. ” says Qingsong Zhu, COO of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
More on the study can be found here: http://www.impactjournals.com/oncotarget/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=2489&path%5B%5D=4445.
The Future of Aging and Aging Disease Prevention is Bright with the Growth of InSilico Medicine’s Scientific Advisory Board
BALTIMORE, September 25, 2014 – InSilico Medicine proudly announces that Donald Small, MD, PhD, Kristen Fortney, PhD and Alexey Moskalev, DSc will aid the company’s mission to successful drug discovery and personalized medicine. It is clear meaningful progress is being made to battle aging from InSilico Medicine, considering the past major SAB additions.
Dr. Small serves as the Director of the Pediatric Oncology Division of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His motivation to play a role in the lives of young cancer patients tremendously impacts his research goals and long term efforts. The InSilico team is very excited to see how his experience will inspire the ongoing research and development.
“InSilico Medicine is poised to make major contributions to treat aging and other diseases. Their proprietary software and brilliant young scientists have impressed me. I look forward to contributing in any way I can to their strategies and discoveries,” said Dr. Small.
Kristen Fortney is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, where she works on the genetics of human longevity. She obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto. Her work consists of the application of computational biology tools to problems in translational medicine, focusing on aging and age-related disease. The technical guidance she will have to offer will play a large role in development and future goals of InSilico Medicine.
“InSilico Medicine has an innovative informatics approach to find new therapies that may treat age-related disease and slow aging. I am excited to join the InSilico Medicine advisory team and look forward to working with them to advance their technology,” said Dr. Fortney.
Dr. Moskalev, from the Institute of Biology of Komi Science Center of RAS is Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Radiobiology and Gerontology. He also teaches at Syktyvkar State University. Much of his focus has been on DNA repair and molecular mechanisms involved with aging. Dr. Moskalev’s leadership and global knowledge of aging research will play a key role in the delivery of InSilico Medicine’s solutions.
“While experiments in model organisms are extremely important for both cancer and aging research, advances in computing, availability of the vast amount of omics data and rapidly improving understanding of the underlying molecular processes allow for the many experiments to be performed in silico. The GeroScope system developed by Insilico Medicine at the very least allows to narrow down the large lists of geroprotective drugs to be tested in animals and for some drugs and combinations directly in humans. The system may be used for improving clinical trials decisions and possibly for personalized preventative medicine,” said Dr. Moskalev.
Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of InSilico Medicine, puts this exciting SAB addition into context,
“Aging lies at the core of the many global problems and there is an urgent need to extend the healthy productive longevity of the aging population while staying within the regulatory and ethical frameworks and boundaries and implement novel business models that will boost the confidence of the many industry stakeholders. The addition of these three world-class experts to our SAB strengthens our ability to develop new approaches to screening for drugs that may help delay the aging processes or repair the age-associated damage. Our approach to applied aging research stems from many years of cancer research and personalized medicine and some of the tissue profiling and drug selection methods are already employed in clinical research.”
On top of this, InSilico Medicine recently announced to the public about OncoFinder, its novel algorithm that will streamline the transcriptome analysis process.
BALTIMORE, September 9, 2014 – Next week on September 15th, Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of InSilico Medicine, will present at the 21st Century Medicine Forum: Big Data Science in Medicine at the Martin Wood Lecture Theater, Oxford University, Physics Department. The title of his talk is “Occam’s razor in drug discovery for aging and cancer: in search for universal and personalized geroprotector regiments”. The event is free to attend and seeks to hasten progress of approaches to aging. Notable individuals such as Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Foundation will also be present to speak.
With regards to aging and this congress, Alex comments, “Aging is a complex multifactorial process with many intertwined cause and effect relationships that are still poorly understood and we need novel approaches for big data analysis to start making the first steps towards slowing down the pathologic age-related processes and repairing the accumulated damage. One of our goals is to evaluate the possible geroprotective effects of the currently approved or OTC drugs with known effects on the human cells and tissues, clinical, adverse effects and toxicity data to find combinations that will work on the population level and develop methods to personalize the regiments. This conference provides a perfect platform to discuss some of our early results before presenting them at the much larger conference in Basel, Switzerland later this month.”
This event serves as an example of the widespread and growing interest in aging prevention applications. Not only is the research community involvement increasing, but venture capitalists, top businesspeople, and well-established companies are all recognizing its future impact.
For more information, visit http://www.bigdatamed.org/.
BALTIMORE, September 8, 2014 – AbbVie and Google-backed Calico announced yesterday that they will co-invest up to $1.5 billion to create a leading R&D facility focused on aging and age-related diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer. This center will be located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the amalgamation of the two companies serves as a trailblazer for similar research teams dedicated to eradicating aging and age-related diseases.
Aging research has long been regarded by the pharmaceutical industry as a subject of controversy associated with failed expectations, ineffective remedies, and blatantly false claims. However, the explosion of the research and clinical data, fueled by the drop in sequencing costs and technology convergence, has led to the emergence of projects with credible business models and approaches targeting both the age-related diseases as well as the aging-associated processes. Advances in aging biomarkers and in silico drug screening methods may soon enable the pharmaceutical industry to revisit their business models and reshape the regulatory frameworks.
InSilico Medicine, Inc. is thrilled about this new collaboration and its innovative potential. “InSilico Medicine, Inc. has developed several methods for geroprotector and geroprotector combination discovery and screening that are undergoing pre-clinical validation with multiple publications out, in review, and in the pipeline. We must thank Google for paving the way and setting the trend. After they got involved in this field, it gained a lot of credibility. In our opinion it is not a competitor, it is a bulldozer, which will pave the way for the many innovative companies like us.” InSilico Medicine CEO, Alex Zhavoronkov, says. “We salute Calico and AbbVie for spearheading the revolution in aging drug discovery and setting the example for other pharmaceutical companies to follow. These are fantastic news for InSilico Medicine, Inc., Human Longevity, Inc., Retrotope, Pathway Pharmaceuticals and many other companies pursuing age-related diseases and aging itself.”
With the MipTec 2014 conference in such close proximity to this notable collaboration, there is a great deal excitement for the experts, industries, and enthusiasts of aging therapies. The conference will host exceptional speakers, elaborate forums, and a variety of sponsors and exhibitors all dedicated to practical applications of aging. The conference serves as a bridge for scientists and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to discover the potential for drug screening and discovery platforms for age-related disease. As more companies such as Calico and AbbVie continue to enter the field of aging research, forums like MipTec will increase in popularity and unite partners from a large variety of organizations on an international scale.
More information on MipTec 2014 can be found at http://www.agingpharma.org/.
BALTIMORE, September 3, 2014 – InSilico Medicine’s Director of Aging Research, Alexander Aliper, is able to present the company’s new technology and platform, GeroScopeTM, to a diverse group of attendees at the FEBS-EMBO conference. This will mark the first presentation of GeroScopeTM to the public. It is a system for evaluating the age-related changes in the tissue of humans and other model organisms, and furthermore predicts the geroprotective efficacy of a multitude of drugs with known molecular targets. The conference program and poster sessions will allow delegates to learn more about its functionality. InSilico Medicine’s poster will elaborate on the drug screening process and signaling pathway activation drift in human fibroblasts in normal aging as well as progerias.
The FEBS-EMBO conference is a joint meeting hosted by the French Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SFBBM). This meeting not only marks the anniversaries of these three organizations, but also the first meeting joining the FEBS and EMBO. Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO, comments on this event, “As 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of FEBS and EMBO, and the centennial of the SFBBM, we are happy to have several members of our team and partner organizations presenting their results at the historic FEBS-EMBO conference. It is a perfect venue to discuss the progress of our company, find collaborators and possibly recruit more brilliant scientists to join our growing international team. Most of InSilico Medicine’s team worked together long before the company was formed, creating its strong foundation. Our technology is held to a high standard, and we ensure recruitment of scientists of great relevance and talent to avoid uncontrolled, rapid expansion. Solving aging is a difficult task and will require a concerted multinational and multidisciplinary effort. FEBS-EMBO is a perfect platform to achieve these goals.”
The FEBS-EMBO conference is currently in session. More information can be seen at http://www.febs-embo2014.org/.
BALTIMORE, August 21, 2014 – InSilico Medicine, a Baltimore-based company dedicated to aging interventions and addressing the challenges of a rapidly aging population, proposes a new concept, OncoFinder, for signalome-wide pathway analysis. This new method allows for accurate and robust cross-platform analysis of gene expression data obtained using high-throughput techniques.
The original research, published in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, shows that the OncoFinder method significantly reduces errors introduced by transcriptome-wide experimental techniques. Scientists compared gene expression data for the same biological samples obtained by both next generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray methods, finding that these different techniques have almost no correlation between the gene expression values for all datasets analysed. In contrast, when the OncoFinder algorithm is applied to the data, a clear correlation between next generation sequencing and microarray gene expression datasets was seen.
“For several years the potential for the use of gene expression data in research and clinical applications has been underappreciated due to the inconsistency of the data coming from the various types of equipment. There is just too much variation and complexity when comparing the massive number of individual genes. But when this complexity is reduced and the gene expression is mapped onto signalling pathways, we can evaluate the pathway activation drift and analyse the changes and transitions much more effectively. The OncoFinder algorithm enables scientists to characterise the functional states of transcriptomes more accurately than before and we hope that this will become a method of choice in genetics, physiology, biomedicine and molecular diagnostics,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of Insilico Medicine and co-author of the study.
DKV Sponsors Forum on Commercialising Longevity Research; Brings Together Scientists, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities
LONDON, July 10, 2014 – Deep Knowledge Ventures last week sponsored the inaugural 21st Century Medicine Forum on ‘Commercialising Longevity Research’ and welcomed a host of London-based investors, scientists and entrepreneurs to the London Bioscience Innovation Center for the event, organised by the UK’s Biogerontology Research Foundation and Aging Analytics Ltd. The meeting highlighted the need for both philanthropic support and investment in translational research for age-related disease, as well as the crucial role of social awareness of advances in regenerative and preventative medicine. This point was well made by attending actress, campaigner and international model, Katya Elizarova, who said:
“It’s clear that the most important thing is to support projects for preventing aging. If researchers are clever enough to develop methods to prevent age-related damage accumulating, it’s much more likely that they will have an ability to treat with success”, adding, “If I, as a media person, can increase the awareness of what you are doing here today and involve as many people as I can, then I shall do it.”
The evening was marked by the announcement that former Chairman of the International Employee Benefits Association and pensions industry expert Geoffrey Furlonger is to join Aging Analytics as its new CEO. Deep Knowledge Ventures Senior Partner Dmitry Kaminskiy made the announcement during his talk on Impact Investment in Regenerative Medicine and highlighted Aging Analytics success in deploying its unique investor decision support software, VITAL (Validating Investment Tool for Advancing Life Sciences) and the publication of its first report, ‘Investing in Regenerative Medicine: Technology and Market Outlook’. Participants of the forum were handed out free copies of the report at the event. Introducing Geoffrey, Dmitry noted that under his leadership we could expect to see Aging Analytics draw attention to the opportunities for investment in the regenerative medicine industry that the pensions and life insurance industries have, as well as the significant use for the research the company could now generate.
Deep Knowledge Ventures investment remit includes artificial intelligence research and robotics, as well as longevity related biotechnology. On the subject of investment in pioneering technologies
Mr Kaminskiy said: “According to our estimates we are at an exciting historical point – even with a relatively small amount of investment – hundreds of millions of dollars – but with well-organized and inspired teams, it’s possible to accelerate the exponential growth in science and medicine.
Our first joint task is now to create a convenient format for investing in this field for conventional investors, who got used to think in very narrow categories. But we need to go beyond this and change the paradigm. Investors in this field stand to gain more valuable results than profit alone. The logic is effective: in case of successful investments, they automatically get direct access to the actual technologies of personalized medicine and life prolongation for themselves and their families. What other business could be better? When you prolong life and still earn a lot of money on this.
This is the same for all stakeholders. People engaged in charity get closer to the technologies of personalized medicine. Investors get even closer as they make money on it. In the forefront though are the entrepreneurs, who invest not only money – but also invest their infrastructure resources, time, expertise and managerial talent.
I estimate that the growth of the market for regenerative medicine is in a situation similar to the beginning of DotCom boom in the late 1990s. We can see it through big investments – Google with antiaging project – Calico, IBM with Watson, famous startup Human Longevity and even Lockheed Martin with their personalized medicine project.
Personally, my opinion is that the most basic prospects of the 21st century are at the intersection of biotechnology, personalized medicine and artificial intelligence. I think, that next fundamental task in artificial intelligence development is to exempt progressive businessmen from the routine work of making money.
I foresee that progressive businessmen will begin to use artificial intelligence (AI) and that it will give them a fundamental advantage over traditional businesses. I’m absolutely sure that in 5, maximum 10 years the average oligarch will not compare the length of ocean yachts or popularity of their football clubs, but will compare powers of their financial AI, access to technologies of personalized medicine and their level of ability to prolong their own lives.”
Speakers during the event included Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of Deep Knowledge Ventures portfolio company InSilico Medicine, who explained “By bringing together class-leading researchers, pensions experts, financial heavyweights and science communicators at meetings like this, we hope to facilitate collaboration across disciplines and produce the next generation of projects that will take longevity science from the bench to the clinic”. InSilico Medicine recently announced that Dr Charles Cantor, former Director of the Human Genome Project, had been appointed Chairman of their scientific advisory board, placing the company at the vanguard of efforts to apply bioinformatics to longevity research. Dr. Zhavoronkov also made available complementary copies of his new book ‘The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy’.
Participants of the event were extended invitations to attend the International Symposium on Geroprotectors meeting on ‘Practical Applications of Ageing Research for Drug Discovery’, at the MipTEC conference in Basel, Switzerland September 23rd – 24th 2014.
Pharmaceutical Companies to Convene in Basel, Switzerland in September to Explore the Practical Applications of Aging Research for Drug Discovery
BALTIMORE, July 2, 2014 – Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of InSilico Medicine, Inc. and Bhupinder Bhullar, PhD, the laboratory director of the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR) are co-organizing the International Symposium on Geroprotectors: Practical Applications of Aging Research for Drug Discovery, at MipTec, in Basel, Switzerland on September 23-24th. The industry-sponsored conference with several parallel forums is free to attend.
With over 3,000 delegates from pharmaceutical companies, hundreds of exhibitors, poster presentations and speakers, MipTec is the largest annual drug discovery conference in Europe. The conference theme for 2014 is “Translating Science into Drugs.” It is the first time that the conference will feature the forum on aging research.
“Aging research has long been regarded by the pharmaceutical industry as a subject of controversy associated with failed expectations, ineffective remedies, and blatantly false claims. However, the explosion of the research and clinical data fueled by the drop in sequencing costs and technology convergence has led to the emergence of projects with credible business models and approaches targeting both the age-related diseases as well as the aging-associated processes. Advances in aging biomarkers and in silico drug screening methods may soon enable the pharmaceutical industry to revisit their business models and reshape the regulatory frameworks. I am happy to see that the most reputable pharmaceutical companies in the world are joining the difficult but noble quest to translate aging research into clinical practice,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD.
The aging forum will feature top academic and industry thought leaders in aging research, whose work is ready for or nearing clinical adoption. Keynote speakers at the conference include Dr. Jörg Reinhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Novartis AG; Prof. Patrick Aebischer, President, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL); and Dr. Lorenz Mayr, Vice President, Reagents & Assay Development, AstraZeneca Ltd. More information is available at http://www.AgingPharma.com.
The Former Head of the Human Genome Project Joins InSilico Medicine, Inc. in the War on Aging as the Chair of the SAB
BALTIMORE, June 4, 2014 – InSilico Medicine, Inc. announced today that Charles Cantor, Ph.D. will chair its Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Cantor, one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project, has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, authored and co-authored more than 50 U.S. and international patents. He is also an author of the first genomics textbook, “Genomics: The Science and Technology of the Human Genome Project” and the three-volume textbook “Biophysical Chemistry”.
“Professor Cantor’s discoveries and leadership are already helping save lives and improve human health span. What is less known is his interest in areas related to aging including the complex and multi-year research projects in isotopically-fortified organic compounds and advanced diagnostics using the cell-free nucleic acids. He is the role model for the many research scientists aspiring to utilize resources available in the private sector, accelerate scientific research without the many formal constraints and budgetary limitations of academia and turn their discoveries into practical projects. We are honored to have Charles join our advisory board”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
Dr. Cantor is the co-founder of Sequenom, Inc, a company engaged in non-invasive prenatal diagnostics and co-founder of Retrotope, a company developing isotopically-fortified organic compounds to bolster stress resistance and combat age-related diseases and acts as a consultant for several companies within the biotechnology industry. He is professor emeritus at the Boston University, distinguished adjunct professor at the University of California Irvine and adjunct professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and at Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Cantor was previously the chair and professor of the department of biomedical engineering and biophysics, and director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University, and his research laboratory remains active.
“Aging is one of the most pressing problems facing the economies of the developed countries and there is an urgent need for new ways to increase productive longevity and screening the known drugs for their geroprotective properties and personalizing anti-cancer and aging-suppressive regiments using genetic and epigenetic analysis is one of the low hanging fruits in applied aging research. I am pleased to join the SAB of this international team dedicated to develop working solutions for both aging and age-related diseases”, said Charles Cantor, PhD, chair of the Science Advisory Board of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
Dr. Cantor was the chairman of Genetics and Development at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Professor of Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Columbia College, and his doctorate at the University of California Berkeley.
About InSilico Medicine, Inc.
Insilico Medicine, Inc. is a Baltimore-based bioinformatics and drug discovery company specializing in cancer and aging research and personalized medicine in age-related diseases. The company is developing models and softwares to predict the efficacy of the various targeted drugs in oncology and extrapolated these methods to evaluate the possible geroprotective properties of the many drugs with known molecular targets. The mission of InSilico Medicine is to find working solutions to treat, cure and prevent age-related diseases and aging itself through excellence in knowledge management, machine learning and bioinformatics, relentless pursuit for new drug, omics and clinical outcomes data, development of reliable in silico drug screening methods, novel validation approaches and strong international partnerships in personalized medicine. This mission will be achieved within the regulatory frameworks as well as the legal and ethical boundaries and by working with the outstanding scientists, academic and medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies of impeccable credibility. For more information please visithttp://www.InSilicoMedicine.com
Professor Bud Mishra, PhD Joins the Science Advisory Board of InSilico Medicine Engaged in Aging Research for Drug Discovery
BALTIMORE, May 30, 2014 – InSilico Medicine, Inc, engaged in cancer and aging research for drug discovery and developing personalized approaches to extending productive longevity is proud to announce the addition of Prof. Bud Mishra to its board of scientific advisors.
“Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov is a fascinating young scientist, seriously engaged in modeling the future of aging and various diseases that accompany it. He has assembled a dream team, especially with a leading visionary, Dr. Charles Cantor, who has “disrupted” the way we think about biology, biotechnology and bioinformatics. With a group like this, I hope to engage in a collective ‘head-banging’ against amazingly challenging biomedical problems – using some of the most advanced science and technologies”, said professor Bud Mishra.
“It is a pleasure to be involved in this innovative enterprise that can potentially really optimize individual medical care. I look forward to working with some of the outstanding participants in this endeavor. In particular I have long hoped for an opportunity to do something direct with bud Mishra and now that he has also joined the SAB of Insilico Medicine we have a forum to promote brain storming and interactions”, said Dr. Charles Cantor, a professor at Boston University, the former director of the Human Genome Project with the Department of Energy and the chair of the science advisory board of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
Prof. Bhubaneswar (Bud) Mishra is a professor of computer science and mathematics at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, professor of human genetics at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and a professor of cell biology at NYU School of Medicine. He founded the NYU/Courant Bioinformatics Group, a multi-disciplinary group working on research at the interface of computer science, applied mathematics and biology. His primary research subfield is “applied algorithmics,” but has ranged more generally from compilers, algorithms and complexity, logic, and algebra to robotics, finance, Internet, and biology.
Dr. Mishra published over three hundred high-impact publications on subjects ranging from mathematics, computer science and robotics to causality of cancer and genetics. His works were cited over five thousand times by other scientists and led to the many successful businesses and practical implementations.
“The sole fact that computer science juggernauts like Dr. Bud Mishra, whose research fuelled the computer, the Internet and the genomics revolutions are now working on aging research gives me a lot of hope for the future. These luminaries are creating the new level of abstraction on top of the laboratory science and using the rapidly expanding knowledge base to find practical applications that may rapidly translate into clinical practice. Our goal is to prove to the academic community, pharmaceutical companies, regulators and policy makers that it is possible to significantly streamline aging research for drug repurposing, drug discovery and personalization. Extending productive longevity is no longer a dream, but a clearly achievable objective”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
InSilico Medicine Opens Office at the Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) at Johns Hopkins University Eastern Campus
Baltimore, May 20, 2014 – InSilico Medicine, Inc, the aging and longevity bioinformatics and drug discovery company, today announced the opening of its office in Baltimore within the Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) at Johns Hopkins University Eastern Campus.
InSilico Medicine, Inc is a Baltimore-based bioinformatics and drug discovery company specializing in cancer, aging research and personalized medicine in age-related diseases. The company developed methods and software tools to predict the effectiveness of the various targeted drugs in oncology and extrapolated these methods to evaluate the possible geroprotective properties of the many drugs with known molecular targets. The mission of InSilico Medicine is to find working solutions to treat, cure and prevent age-related diseases and aging itself through excellence in knowledge management, machine learning and bioinformatics, relentless pursuit for new drug, omics and clinical outcomes data, development of reliable in silico drug screening methods, novel validation approaches and strong international partnerships in personalized medicine.
“The state of the whole area of biomedical sciences today resembles that of the dawn of the personal computing in the 80’s or Internet in the 90’s. And as some of the discoveries transition from the laboratory into clinical practice and mainstream use, Baltimore may eclipse Silicon Valley. Baltimore is one of the few rapidly regenerating and developing cities with highly qualified labor and cost-effective infrastructure and we are proud to join this thriving community. ETC allows the innovative companies to develop within the Johns Hopkins ecosystem and move fast into the emerging areas of science and technology while absorbing the culture of excellence,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
To participate in the rapidly growing science and technology hub in Baltimore and to take advantage of the innovation-friendly environment developed by the community of the top industry captains, InSilico Medicine selected the Emerging Technology Centers at Johns Hopkins Eastern Campus as the optimal location for its research and development operations. This location provides access to thousands of highly educated bioinformatics professionals and interns to work on the highly-ambitious high-impact projects.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Insilico Medicine as an ETC portfolio company,” said Deborah Tillett, ETC’s President. “Their amazing research in productive longevity promises to change the future for all of us; they are a great addition to ETC and the City,” she concluded.
“Proximity to the major academic institutions like the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, National Institute on Aging and University of Maryland will allow us to hire the recent graduates and interns as well as collaborate with some of the world’s most advanced geneticists, bioinformaticians and computer scientists. We aim to be a driver of change in medicine embracing the concept of productive longevity and shifting the paradigms from treatment to personalized prevention. Our approach to evaluating the ability of drugs to slow down the age-related processes and possibly repair the accumulated damage is unique and we would be very proud if it becomes one of the many breakthroughs originating from this Mecca of biomedicine”, said Qingsong Zhu, PhD, COO of InSilico Medicine, Inc.
“Many things are aligned in Baltimore to propel innovative start-up companies in healthcare. Access to world-class researchers and talent in biomedicine, technology and healthcare here in Maryland is unparalleled. If you couple that intellectual asset with a growing entrepreneurial base, a robust investment community, and the active involvement of large prominent institutions like the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, BioHealth Innovation, and Northrop Grumman, as seen in the recent successful launch of DreamIT Health Baltimore, Baltimore’s first health accelerator, you start to see the initial sparks to what will undoubtedly lead to an explosion of innovations. We already see those sparks developing rapidly and InSilico Medicine is a testament to the growing prominence of Baltimore for innovative international companies. Its aim of combating cancer and aging through the use of genomics and novel bioinformatics comes at a very exciting and opportune time,” states Benjamin Seo, a Partner at emocha Mobile Health Inc. – a company, spun-out of technology developed at Johns Hopkins, offering a mobile health platform for remote patient management on a global scale.
Insilico Medicine, Inc. announces the appointment of cancer genomics expert Dr. Qingsong Zhu to the position of Chief Operating Officer
BALTIMORE, Apr 09, 2014 – Today Insilico Medicine, Inc., a Baltimore-based company using advances in genomics to discover new therapies to target aging and age-related diseases, announced the appointment of cancer genomics expert Dr. Qingsong Zhu to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Dr. Zhu holds a bachelors degree in biology from the Beijing Forestry University in Beijing. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry under Dr. Karl Kramer and Dr. Subaratnam Muthurishnan from Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas US where his research focused on insect genome sequencing, annotation and new gene identification. Dr. Zhu spent seven years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University where he worked with Dr. Nancy Davidson in the breast cancer program and Dr. Robert Arceci in pediatric oncology. He was experienced in biomarker identification and drug development using both microarray and next generation sequencing techniques. Dr. Zhu has a broad professional network in the US and internationally and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Insilico Medicine, Inc. holds an exclusive license to drug discoveries made using Hong Kong based Pathway Pharmaceuticals’ OncoFINDER tool, which predicts drug efficacy through a proprietary gene expression analysis algorithm. Dr. Qingsong Zhu will be responsible for operations and drug discovery research initiatives. He has over 15 years of experience in genomics with an emphasis on bioinformatics and the use of microarray and next generation sequencing (NGS) in cancer research. He has been involved in the identification of several novel drug targets and preclinical development programs. In addition, he has over three years experience managing clinical trials.
His latest entrepreneurial endeavors focused on improving the early diagnosis and personalized treatment of cancer and other diseases. He published his research in reputable peer-reviewed journals including Nature and as the first author in PNAS and Bioinformatics.
“The capabilities of drug discovery and personalized medicine companies are no longer constrained by the ability to afford and operate expensive sequencing equipment, but by the ability to interpret the data, make connections and extract valuable knowledge. Building on years of research in bioinformatics and equipped with powerful resources like the OncoFINDER and GeroScope, Insilico Medicine has set itself the most challenging of goals possible in biomedical research: finding drugs that combat age-related diseases and even aging itself. I am very excited to join this fast-paced and ambitious company and contribute to the revolution in cancer and aging research”, said Qingsong Zhu, PhD, Chief Operating Officer of Insilico Medicine, Inc.
Insilico Medicine, Inc. joins Google Ventures’s Calico and Craig Venter’s Human Longevity. Inc. in the hunt for novel solutions to age-related disease.
Dr Zhu notes that “Whilst other recently announced companies plan to use Big Data to find solutions for healthy aging without clearly defining the methods, Insilico Medicine, Inc has a very specific approach to high-throughput in silico drug discovery, screening and ranking of the many potential drugs and drug combinations.”
“We are very excited about Dr. Zhu joining our team. He spent many years working at the top cancer lane at Johns Hopkins Medicine as well as an independent consultant on application of NGS to diagnostic and personalized medicine. His philosophy of combining corporate goals with academic excellence is aligned with the spirit of Insilico Medicine, Inc. Dr. Zhu will coordinate the internal team as well as the sponsored research projects and collaborations with our partners. Together we will relentlessly pursue the ambitious goals of the company to discover new drugs and drug combinations to combat age-related diseases and develop new methods for tailoring drug regiments of the individual patients”, commented Professor Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Insilico Medicine, Inc.
Press About US: In Silico Medicine Opens US Office, Prepares to Launch Drug Discovery Software for Aging Research Market
InSilico Medicine Inc. Launches in the US to Use Advances in Information Technology to Combat Aging and Age-related Diseases
BALTIMORE, March 6, 2014 – In Silico Medicine Inc, developing novel computer-assisted methods for drug discovery in aging research, has officially launched in the US. InSilico Medicine draws on years of research and software development expertise of its partner, Pathway Pharmaceuticals in Hong Kong, which employs its state of the art OncoFinder platform to select and rate personalized cancer therapies, and identify new drug candidates in oncology.
Population aging is one of the major internal threats to the economies, cultures and social structures in developed countries. Increasing productive longevity of the working population may not only be the major new source of economic growth, but the only altruistic way to save the debt-laden economies from collapsing. And while aging is a very complex multifactorial process that cannot be stopped or reversed by a simple combination of drugs, the pharmaceutical industry needs a platform to screen and predict the effectiveness of possible aging-suppressive drugs in a high-throughput environment to at least slow some of the aging processes
One of the reasons why pharmaceutical companies failed to develop business models for increasing productive human longevity is because human lifespans are much longer than that of the many model organisms and it takes decades to evaluate the effects of any drug. Some of the known drugs have been on the market for many decades and only recently scientists started finding clues to their oncoprotective, cardioprotective and geroprotective effects. Moreover, many drugs that work on model organisms including mice do not have the same effects in humans. There is an urgent need for intelligent systems that will cost-effectively predict the effectiveness of the many drugs on the population, but also on the individual levels.
“We built our platform on years of experience of a large international team who specialize in using gene expression data from individual patient’s tumor to predict the effectiveness of targeted compounds and improve clinical decision making. We are reinventing this system for drug discovery in cancer and aging,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, the CEO of In Silico Medicine. “The recent wave of startups looking to employ big data to find solutions for aging, including the Google’s Calico and Human Longevity, should give everyone hope that we may see the time when both the medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies will start saving lives so every human being on the planet will benefit.”
Some of the ideas behind the company’s drug discovery platforms for both cancer and aging are rather simple: analyze the genetic and epigenetic profiles of young and normal cells, run computer simulations to see what drugs make the old or malignant cell get as close to the norm as possible and then validate the results on human cells and model organisms. The same approach may be employed to personalize the drug regimen for individual patients. The core expertise of In Silico Medicine is in all-inclusive gene expression analysis and development of various algorithms that minimize the difference between the “young” and “old” signaling pathway activation profiles, and they are actively adding new modules that can be used with the drug databases. These include microRNA, methylation and proteomics modules among others.