Padstow, Cornwall – It’s May Day or ‘Obby ‘Oss, as it’s known locally in this little corner of south west England. The quaint festival means that it’s the biggest day of the year as over 30,000 people crowd into the tiny fishing village.
Obby Oss Blue
Centuries old traditions are still alive and well in this part of the country and the big question of the day (are you red and white or blue and white?) is a far cry from the complex high tech world of cancer research.
Still, with all the time and attention focused on immunotherapy and targeted therapies of late, it is all too easy to forget what’s happening on the epigenetics front, which is quite a bit in practice.
We often see random allcomer approaches to clinical trials, which are find for phase 1 studies where you want to gather data on responders and non-responders in order to conduct PK/PD and immune profiling, as well as biomarker and signature development, but a potential recipe for disaster in phase 3 if you have no idea exactly what’s driving the efficacy since you can all too easily end up with unbalanced arms that you didn’t control for and thus skew your survival curves in a way you didn’t anticipate.
Why on earth would you use a targeted therapy in an untargeted fashion? Hmmm obvious question and yet, many companies still do this all the time.
There are some biotechs out there, I’m pleased to say, who do conduct extensive translational and biomarker research. Obviously finding those markers is a lot more tricky than choosing red or blue.
One biotech company we have been keenly following for a while is Syros.
We first wrote about them in Spring 2014 and now, five years on, I thought it would be a nice idea to catch up with one of their founders and learn more about the science underpinning what they’ve done and where they’re going with future projects. Not only do they invest in smart medicinal chemists, profiling and translational research, but they also seek to identify rational reasons why people respond to their compounds.
The answers were rather interesting and there’s quite a bit that readers might be curious to learn more about…
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As part of our #JPM18 coverage we like to feature up and coming companies to watch out for, one of these is Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS). In this post we take a look at what’s on the horizon for the company in 2018?
Myelofibrosis has certainly been in the news this week with Celgene acquiring Impact Biosciences for fedratinib and both Celgene and Incyte presenting their annual update at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco.
Yesterday at JPM, Syros and Incyte announced a new collaboration to explore myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN):
“… The companies have entered into a target discovery, research collaboration and option agreement. Under the agreement, Syros will use its proprietary gene control platform to identify novel therapeutic targets with a focus in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), and Incyte will receive options to obtain exclusive worldwide rights to intellectual property resulting from the collaboration for up to seven validated targets. Incyte will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize any therapies under the collaboration that modulate those validated targets.”
Given the need to find new targets and potential combination agents to partner with JAK2 inhibitors such as ruxolitinib (Jakafi), this deal makes a lot of sense.
It also leaves Syros and Incyte with space to continue developing their existing pipelines in the usual fashion without any undue commitment or conflict.
Syros are a company we have been following for three years now, with several updates on BSB, including thought leader and C-suite interviews.
With new data presented at ASH and SABCS last month, it was a good time for an update on this topic, so we sat down with Dr Nancy Simonian (CEO) for a chat about where they are and where they are going with their current small molecule pipeline ahead of their presentation at JPM18.
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