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Swedish Firm Taps Biomodels for Predictive HSCT Study

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biomodels said today that Swedish Orphan Biovitrum has contracted it to test the possibility of developing a predictive assay to determine which stem cell therapy patients may be at risk for a complication called oral mucositis.

Under the agreement, the Watertown, Mass.-based preclinical drug research firm aims to develop a screening platform to define mucositis risk for patients undergoing conditioning regimens for hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT).

Oral mucositis is a painful and debilitating complication of conditioning regimens associated with HSCT, and results in "significant morbidity as well as increased health care costs," the company said.

A personalized approach to determining the at-risk patients for this complication would be advantageous to payers, hospitals, and physicians, as well as patients, Biomodels said.

"We are optimistic that as a consequence of this project, patients undergoing [HSCT] will be able to receive targeted therapies to reduce the burden of these symptoms," Biomodels Chief Medical Officer Stephen Sonis said in a statement.

Biomodels develops and conducts predictive translational studies for biotech and pharmaceutical firms. It specializes in efficacy studies that optimize dose and schedule and it defines mechanisms of action for cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Biovitrum acquired Swedish Orphan International Holding AB at the beginning of 2010 to form Swedish Orphan Biovitrum.

Specific financial terms of the agreement were not released.

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