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BostonGene, Hokkaido University to Study Biomarkers of Response in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

NEW YORK – BostonGene said on Tuesday that it has entered a research collaboration with Hokkaido University Hospital focused on identifying HER2-positive breast cancer patients likely to benefit from targeted therapies, including HER2-low patients likely to respond to AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo's Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan).

For its part of the collaboration, BostonGene will use its genomics pipeline and RNA-based method to interrogate immune microenvironment properties and genomic biomarkers of response to different therapies. It will also apply its machine-learning algorithm, dubbed Kassandra, to digitally reconstruct patients' tumor microenvironments and cellular compositions with the goal of shedding light on distinct cell populations that impact response.

Researchers from Sapporo, Japan-based Hokkaido University Hospital, including Ichiro Kinoshita and Masato Takahashi, will lead the joint study, which the partners hope will help demonstrate the benefits of investigating the tumor immune ecosystem's effect on HER2-targeted therapy.

"We're honored to partner with Hokkaido University providing our AI-based molecular and immune profiling to uncover treatable targets to personalize therapy for breast cancer patients," BostonGene Chief Medical Officer Nathan Fowler said in a statement. "This collaboration supports our mission to equip doctors in finding the most effective treatment options for their patients."

The news of the collaboration comes after BostonGene, NEC, and Japan Industrial Partners jointly announced the formation of BostonGene Japan last month.