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Commercialization of a novel tool for designing personalized nOvel MelAnoma Therapies

Objective

Melanoma tumours develop in the pigment cells located in the skin. It is the most aggressive and treatment-resistant type of skin cancer as well as the leading cause of death among skin diseases. Moreover, melanoma’s alarming increase in incidence, especially in the young population, in combination with its propensity for lethal metastasis, illustrates an urgent need for new treatment strategies. In this PoC project, we propose developing an innovative tool, called COMbAT, for designing highly personalized therapies for melanoma patients. Each therapy will be based on existing, already designed drugs and will specifically target the driver mutations present in a patient’s melanoma genome.

COMbAT involves the use of novel unique preclinical models designed to express patient-derived mutated genes in melanoma cells in a physiological manner. These models will undergo systematic combinatorial drug screens aiming to target the exact driver mutations present in patients. Such personalized targeting of the patient’s melanoma genetic landscape is key to a significantly improved mortality. Specifically, COMbAT can serve as a unique preclinical tool in the delivery of healthcare, from redefining clinical trials to targeted treatments of melanoma patients to start and a wide range of other cancer types later. Importantly, as COMbAT will allow the increased use of specific targeting of molecular drug targets, it will help to significantly lower the patient’s economic and psychological burden caused by unnecessary chemotherapy. COMbAT also holds the promise of realizing value from enormous past investments in drug candidates that were eliminated due to person-specific toxicities or lack of efficacy. We thus believe that COMbAT will enable the creation of new business models for the pharmaceutical industry which is suffering from patent expirations, threats from biotech companies, regulatory pressures, costly drug development timelines, and backlash from adverse drug reactions.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/dermatology/melanoma
  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/business model
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/mutation
  • /social sciences/economics and business
  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/mortality
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/genome
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/adverse drug reactions
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer/skin cancer

Call for proposal

ERC-2015-PoC
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-POC - Proof of Concept Grant

Host institution

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 150 000

Beneficiaries (1)

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 150 000
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments