Presage Biosciences announced the Foundation’s first-ever award. The grant is aimed at advancing Presage’s next generation of intratumoral microdosing platform to assess immuno-oncology drug combinations.
“We are deeply honored to be the inaugural grant award for The Mark Foundation,” said Dr. Richard Klinghoffer, Chief Scientific Officer of Presage. “Discovery of effective combinations of immune oncology agents is recognized as key to improving patient outcomes. This project aims to provide a technology to test dozens of potential combinations per patient, with the intent to dramatically accelerate advancement of life saving treatments into the cancer clinic.”
Resistance to immune checkpoint inhibition by a majority of patients has led oncology researchers to emphasize drug combinations as a means of combatting this drug resistance. Traditional means of precision medicine have so far failed to accurately and robustly identify responder patient populations to improve clinical trial outcomes. Unlike static assays such as PD-L1 expression measurement that measure only a patient’s baseline expression of tumor antigens, Presage’s CIVO platform can assess the biology of tumor responses to perturbation by microdoses of multiple different drugs and drug combinations. Importantly, microdoses are administered to the patient’s tumor while the tumor is still in the patient’s body, thus capturing the critical immune microenvironment. This “functional precision oncology” approach may be an important complement to existing efforts to understand the differences in patient responses to cancer treatments.