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Neogap Therapeutics, Simsen Diagnostics Collaborate on Cancer Dx

NEW YORK – Neogap Therapeutics announced on Tuesday that it is collaborating with Simsen Diagnostics to analyze circulating tumor DNA in clinical trial patients to develop personalized cancer diagnostic tools.

Stockholm-based Neogap has commissioned Simsen to measure ctDNA levels in blood samples from people participating in Neogap's Phase I/II clinical trial for its personalized cell therapy to treat patients with disseminated colorectal cancer, Neogap said in a statement. The measurements will be taken at multiple points during treatment and will be used to determine the therapy's impact by comparing the development and survival of tumor cells over time. Neogap's Pior software, which uses DNA sequencing data and machine learning algorithms to select tumor-specific mutations, will be used for data analysis, Neogap said, adding the firm's development of a specific Pior module for ctDNA analysis is of interest to Simsen.

"Our technology Pior is a safe and regulated system for bioinformatic analysis of sequencing data that is also user friendly," Neogap CEO Samuel Svensson said in a statement. "This provides the advantage of securely handling patient data while having the potential for multiple future applications in diagnostics and precision medicine." 

The collaboration is "an important step in expanding the Pior technology toward future commercialization and out-licensing," he added.

Gothenburg, Sweden-based Simsen Diagnostics CEO Gustav Johansson noted that using a "quality-assured system for data analysis" would allow the company to streamline its analysis and handle more data in less time.

Neogap's personalized Trained Tumor Lymphocytes cell therapy is an immunotherapy that aims to treat solid tumors by training the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells using neoantigens. Its Pior system selects the most suitable neoantigens for each patient, while its EpiTCer technology multiplies T cells that recognize the neoantigens and attack the cancer, the company said.

Simsen Diagnostics develops technologies for reading DNA sequences and currently works with the pharmaceutical industry to measure cancer DNA in blood samples for clinical studies. It plans to offer services for clinical diagnostics in the future, Neogap said.