What we do
Personalised cancer Therapeutics
Because every person, and every tumour, is different.
What we do
Personalised cancer Therapeutics
Treatment designed just for you. We understand that when cancer is diagnosed, you want the best chance of success straight away.
Personal Discovery ProcessTM
replicates a patient’s genetic profile and screens thousands of drug cocktails
Providing individuals with treatment-driven research on an unprecedented scale
The Personal Discovery Process (PDP) is effectively a massive clinical trial for a single patient. We engineer the genetic complexity of each patient’s unique tumour network into an army of 500,000 fruit fly “avatars”. Using robotics, we evaluate up to 2,000 FDA approved drugs including non-cancer drugs, to identify drug combinations that are efficacious in the individual’s avatar population.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai developed the PDP methodology over years of clinical research.
They found that real-world patient tumours are made resistant to single-drug treatments by mutations in several genes, including genes not previously associated with cancer. Such resistant tumours can, however, be effectively addressed with novel combinations of FDA approved drugs. The most effective combinations almost always include non-cancer drugs. The Personal Discovery Process methods are licensed exclusively to My Personal Therapeutics (trading as Vivan Therapeutics).
What is the evidence that PDP works?
The PDP process is one of the most recent innovations in personalised cancer care. The technology underlying PDP was developed by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai (New York), and is backed up by decades of academic cancer research. Case studies of cancer patients receiving personalised therapies developed by PDP have been published here and here.
How does PDP compare to targeted therapies?
Targeted therapies are designed to specifically hit target mutations present in the patient’s tumour and as such represent an improvement of traditional chemotherapy. This approach would work well in cases where a single actionable target gene is identified (e.g. BRAF), for which a drug has been developed (e.g. VEMURAF).
However, almost every tumour will show several actionable mutated genes, e.g. BRAF + APC + EGFR + PTEN. Taking one drug for every target is not possible because of the high toxicity produced by the combination of anti-cancer drugs. Thus, the oncologist is forced to choose from one of these mutations and select a targeted therapy based on partial genetic information, leading to failed treatments and tumour resistance.
PDP can introduce up to 20 cancer associated mutations per avatar and find the drug cocktails that target the oncogenic network created by them. Thus, the treatment recommendation is developed based on a comprehensive mutational cancer landscape.
Who can benefit from PDP?
PDP can help identify optimal treatments for patients with early cancers as well as for patients with difficult to treat advanced cancers, who have exhausted treatment options with conventional approaches.
Finally, people with pre-malignant gut lesions can also benefit from PDP. The presence of adenomas in the digestive tract is well correlated with the development of a colorectal cancer in the following years. Non cancer patients with this feature can greatly benefit from having a pre-avatar model already built and ready to provide a treatment recommendation when required.
Please get in touch to find out if your specific cancer can benefit from PDP.
What is the rationale for using flies to find the most appropriate personalised therapy?
Drosophila (fruit fly) is the most flexible genetic model organism. The unique genetic toolkit available in flies enables us to introduce up to 20 gene mutations found in the patient’s tumour, allowing the creation of a fully personalised avatar carrying a tumour “à la carte”.
The small size and the short life cycle of these animals permits the fast expansion of the avatar population. In this way, we create and utilise 500K flies (an impossible number for any other animal model) to run a high-throughput drug screening, allowing us to generate powerful pre-clinical statistics for every drug or drug combination tested.
Roughly 75% of human disease-causing genes have a functional counterpart in the fly. Drosophila has been used since the early 1900s to study human diseases, including cancer. The signalling pathways involved in cancer are conserved in fruit flies and in fact many components of these signalling pathways were first discovered in the fly.
How long does PDP take?
PDP can take 4 – 5 months after tumour and blood sequencing results are available.
The difference in time reflects differences in tumour type, complexity, the number of drugs and drug combinations tested until the final cocktail is identified.
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