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Tara Biosystems, Scipher Medicine Partner to Find Therapies for Cardiac Laminopathies

NEW YORK – Tara Biosystems and Scipher Medicine said Wednesday that they have entered a collaboration to identify therapeutic targets for drug development in cardiac laminopathies.

Scipher aims to use its Spectra platform to identify potentially therapeutic targets from among proteins found both up- and downstream of LMNA for a stratified disease population, while incorporating data from Tara's Biowire II LMNA disease models.

These human cardiac tissue models derive from induced pluripotent stem cells and include a repertoire of healthy, gene-edited, patient-derived, and drug-induced phenotypes of human disease. "The TARA platform is highly versatile and can capture robust physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function, including contractility, electrophysiology, calcium signaling, [and] structure, as well as genomic, proteomic, and metabolic profiles," Robert Langer, a member of Tara Biosystems' board of directors, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Scipher's Spectra platform "uniquely integrates AI with the protein network of human cells to identify novel targets in highly complex and debilitating diseases such as laminopathy," Slava Akmaev, chief technology officer and head of therapeutics at Scipher Medicine, said in a statement. "By interrogating the network neighborhood of LMNA and its relationship with the proteins appropriate for targeted therapeutics we are confident that we can identify several novel and relevant drug targets."

In this collaboration, Tara has the exclusive option to pursue drug discovery and clinical development of any identified targets and retains the rights to develop and commercialize any resulting therapeutics. Scipher is eligible for milestone payments and royalties.

"The ability to quickly validate novel targets identified by Spectra on Tara's human tissue model platform allows us to rapidly iterate to identify most effective target," Scipher CEO Alif Saleh said in a statement.