NEW YORK – UK-based startup Tailor Bio has received £650,000 ($771,767) through the Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Award in support of its ambitions to develop a pan-cancer precision medicine platform.
Tailor will use the funds to develop its first diagnostic to identify which high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients will not respond to doxorubicin chemotherapy. In the UK, 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and only half will respond to doxorubicin, a commonly prescribed treatment.
The startup will collaborate with Illumina and the University of Cambridge on developing the diagnostic. The partners will also assess the compatibility of Tailor's platform with the Illumina TruSight Oncology Comprehensive assay, which now has CE-IVD marking in Europe.
"In addition to addressing an unmet need in ovarian cancer, Tailor's doxorubicin test is a pivotal step for us to validate our precision medicine platform," Tailor CEO Jason Yip said in a statement. "Stratifying patients away from ineffective treatment is beneficial, but the ultimate aim of Tailor Bio is to develop better therapeutic treatments for cancers with chromosomal instability."
The science underlying Tailor's commercial ambitions originated at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre. In June, research led by two Tailor Bio executives and published in Nature explored copy number signatures that coincide with chromosomal instability as potential prognostic and predictive biomarkers for cancer. Based on that research, the authors established Tailor Bio to further validate these biomarkers and bring them to the clinic.
Tailor Bio launched in 2020 out of the Illumina Accelerator program, which provides seed funding, access to Illumina platforms, business and scientific expertise, and access to lab space.