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Envisagenics to Bring RNA Splicing Software Platform to J&J Lung Cancer Initiative

NEW YORK – Envisagenics announced Tuesday it has entered into a research program agreement with Johnson & Johnson's Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI.)

Under the terms of the agreement, Envisagenics will build predictive models for lung cancer progression and risk and use its SpliceCore software platform to analyze LCI's data. 

Financial and other details were not disclosed. 

"Tumor cells can literally cut and paste RNAs to produce unique cancerous proteins. Detecting these RNA splicing events early could mean better prognoses for lung cancer patients," Envisagenics Cofounder and CTO Martin Akerman said in a statement. "SpliceCore can extract these biological insights because it can scan through millions of potential RNA splicing events from 1,000 patient samples in two hours."

New York-based Envisagenics is developing therapeutics for RNA splicing errors that lead to diseases including cancer. Its SpliceCore platform includes a database of more than 5 million potential RNA splicing errors and can help pharmaceutical companies identify potential targets. The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory spinout is a resident of Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS @ NYC, a startup incubator space.

The LCI is part of a translational research alliance between Johnson & Johnson and Boston University launched in 2018. LCI has also partnered with Veracyte to develop diagnostic tests. 

In October 2019, Envisagenics announced it had won a $300,000 National Cancer Institute grant to refine its SpliceCore platform.