At the center of the collaboration is PrecisionLife’s combinatorial analytics platform, which will be used to screen patient genomes and find genetic biomarkers for each of Nanopharmaceutics’ drug development programs. The biomarkers of interest consist of combinations of gene variants called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) linked to the target disease and the mechanism of action of Nanopharmaceutics’ drug candidates.
The biomarkers discovered by PrecisionLife will help Nanopharmaceutics to stratify different patient subgroups in clinical trials and predict which is most likely to benefit from the drug candidate. This could let the US partner design smaller and faster clinical trials with a lower failure risk. Nanopharmaceutics will also have the option to gain an exclusive right to the biomarkers discovered in the collaboration.
“By leveraging PrecisionLife’s innovative approach, Nanopharmaceutics aims to enhance the precision and effectiveness of clinical trials for CNS disorders, which have historically presented numerous challenges due to their complexity,” said James Talton, President and CEO of Nanopharmaceutics, in a public release.
One of Nanopharmaceutics’ main CNS candidates in phase 2a testing is a novel formulation of the approved opioid medication buprenorphine that is swallowed as a capsule instead of given sublingually. This could reduce craving and improve weaning for patients on maintenance therapy for opioid use disorder.
Another phase 2a-stage CNS candidate in development by Nanopharmaceutics is an Alzheimer’s drug that stimulates the release of the neurochemical acetylcholine, which could slow the progression of the disease with fewer side effects than current medications.
According to PrecisionLife’s website, tracking interactions between different gene variants with its platform can shed light on complex diseases and stratify patient subgroups more effectively than looking for single gene variants as in current approaches, leading to more targeted treatments. It can also lead to more precise diagnostic tools linked to precision medicine approaches.
PrecisionLife specializes in developing biomarkers in more than 45 complex chronic diseases including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Its pipeline contains more than 300 potential novel drug targets in addition to more than 250 potential cases where a client can repurpose an approved drug for use in a different indication.
PrecisionLife also made waves in late 2022 in another CNS-focused collaboration, this time with Ono Pharmaceutical in Japan. The two partners aimed to harness PrecisionLife’s platform to identify novel disease targets and patient biomarkers to accelerate Ono’s pipeline.