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Stanford University, TwoXar Partner on Dermatology Drug Candidates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – TwoXar is partnering with Stanford University's dermatology department on a preclinical study that aims to identify drug candidates for rare dermatological disorders such as lymphatic malformation and epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS).

The partners will use TwoXar's computational discovery platform to make disease-drug candidate predictions, the company said. As part of the collaboration, TwoXar will also fund some of the collection and analysis of disease-specific gene expression data. The collaborators will also contribute data from the study to communal biomedical repositories to support future investigations into disease mechanisms and therapies, they said.

Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Disorders such as EBS and lymphatic malformation do not have FDA-approved medications, Joyce Teng, Stanford's director of pediatric dermatology, noted in a statement. Currently, patients receive supportive care or surgeries that try to mitigate painful symptoms. "We are pleased to be working with TwoXar in this preclinical study collaboration as we strive to change the outcome for people living with rare and often incredibly painful and disabling diseases," she said.

"This is an exciting opportunity to support patients and demonstrate how our technology can be used to identify potential new treatments faster and more cost-effectively," TwoXar Co-founder and CEO Andrew Radin said. The company has developed patent-pending algorithms that it uses to explore associations between diseases and drug candidates and identify potential candidates that it can license to pharmaceutical companies. Last year, TwoXar raised a total of $4.5 million from investment firm Andreessen Horowitz and from existing investors CLI Ventures and the Stanford-StartX Fund.

Over the course of the Stanford project, "we hope to develop additional expertise that will pave the way for investigating treatments using novel bioinformatics approaches for orphan diseases with unmet needs," Radin added.