BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NantHealth, Inc.(Nasdaq: NH), a leading next-generation, evidence-based, personalized healthcare company, the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine and the collaborators of the Pediatric Cancer MoonShot 2020 today announced that they are embarking on one of the world’s most ambitious pediatric sequencing discovery projects to date. This initiative will focus on the largest killer of pediatric cancer patients today: childhood brain tumors.
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Project, the first project of Pediatric Cancer MoonShot 2020, brings together the Childhood Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Hyundai Cancer Genomic Program at CHOC Children’s Hospital to perform approximately 4,800 whole genome tumor normal RNA analyses for 1,600 children diagnosed with brain tumors. The project is expected to take just six months to complete. This large library and enormous fount of information will be made publicly available to all researchers, nationally and internationally, so they can benefit from this data trove. The ultimate goal of the project is to discover insights that lead to improved treatments and ultimately improved outcomes and quality of life for pediatric brain tumor patients.
“There are 28,000 children age 0-18 with brain tumors in the United States. Over 4,600 children are newly diagnosed each year,” stated Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman and CEO of NantWorks and leader of Cancer MoonShot 2020. “It’s the leading cause of cancer related to death in children, even surpassing Leukemia. It is not only our privilege, but it's our moral imperative to act rapidly and to share the analysis of this large tumor atlas with the scientists who can use it in the war against this deadly disease.”
According to BrainTumor.org, there have only been four FDA approved drugs to treat pediatric brain tumors in the past 30 years. Between 1998 and 2014, there were 78 investigational brain tumor drugs that entered the clinical trial evaluation process. Of those, 75 failed. That is a 25:1 failure ratio in developing new brain tumor treatments over the past two decades.
Dr. Lennie Sender, Executive Director of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer added, “There is tremendous lack of progress in the treatment of brain tumors in children, which makes this such an important project. It is the first major initiative of the pediatric consortium since its launch in Phoenix on February 18, 2015.”
“Over the last three months at CHOP, we evaluated the GPS Cancer™ test in six patients with brain tumors and compared them to findings on standard gene panels. Our conclusions were that this was the most comprehensive proteomic genomic analysis we have seen and provided significantly more information than current tests available. The possibility now to establish an Atlas with genomics and proteomics information will be a major advance in our fight against cancer,” said Adam C. Resnick, PhD, Director of the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “A new treatment is not out of reach. This is exciting because the CBTTC (Childhood Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium) has been bio-banking tissue for years, but has lacked the necessary funding for research. “We are grateful that Dr. Soon-Shiong has made this $20 million award to bring together these important visions. I believe this is a perfect synergy of efforts to lead to discovery.”
The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine (CSSIOMM) will fund the project that is expected to cost $20 million.
NantWorks, LLC, founded by renowned physician scientist and inventor of the first human nanoparticle chemotherapeutic agent Abraxane®, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is the umbrella organization for the following entities: NantHealth, NantOmics, NantBio, NantCell, NantPharma, NantVentures and NantCloud. Fact-based and solution-driven, each of NantWorks’ division entities operates at the nexus of innovation and infrastructure. The core mission of NantWorks is convergence and a systems approach to human biology: to develop and deliver a diverse range of technologies that accelerates innovation, broaden the scope of scientific discovery, enhance ground-breaking research, and improve healthcare treatment for those in need. NantWorks is building an integrated fact-based, genomically and proteomically-informed, personalized approach to the delivery of care and the development of next generation diagnostics and therapeutics for life threatening diseases such as Cancer, Infectious Diseases and Alzheimer’s. For more information please visit www.nantworks.com and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong on Twitter @DrPatSoonShiong.
About Cancer MoonShot 2020
The Cancer MoonShot 2020 program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational moonshot to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please visit www.cancermoonshot2020.org and follow @MoonShot2020 on Twitter.
About GPS Cancer™
GPS Cancer™ is a unique, molecular profile analysis available through NantHealth. GPS Cancer integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, whole transcriptome (RNA) sequencing, and quantitative proteomics through mass spectrometry, providing oncologists with a comprehensive molecular profile of a patient’s cancer and an assessment of protein pathway function to inform personalized treatment strategies. GPS Cancer scanning is conducted in CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratories, and is a key enabler for Cancer MoonShot 2020, the world’s most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. For more information, visit www.gpscancer.com and www.cancermoonshot2020.org.