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Phase Genomics Lands $2.5M in Grants to Develop Diagnostic Score For Genomic Aberrations in Cancer

NEW YORK – Phase Genomics said on Monday that it has received a total of $2.5 million in grant funding to develop a diagnostics score based on genome-wide chromosomal aberrations in certain cancers. 

The Seattle-based 3D genomics firm won a $2 million, two-year, Small Business Innovation Research award from the National Cancer Institute to generate data from hundreds of archival samples using its OncoTerra platform. Data from that study will be used to develop the Chromosomal Aberration in Oncology Score (ChAOS), a predictive instrument with the potential to be used for risk assessment and to guide treatment decisions. The study will include 500 acute myeloid leukemia patient samples. 

In its grant abstract, Phase Genomics said that it will produce a kit and software solution that will "offer new prognostic insights beyond what is possible with current tools." 

A $500,000 grant from the state of Washington's Andy Hill Care Fund will extend the ChAOS model to colorectal cancer, with a focus on underserved populations in the Pacific Northwest.

"We’re taking a pivotal leap toward integrating a new cytogenomic approach into clinical care to revolutionize treatment decision-making," Phase CEO and Founder Ivan Liachko said in a statement. "The new funding will help us deliver a rapid assay that combines the collective power of today's common cytogenetic solutions at a fraction of the cost and with added predictive power." 

The score will be based on data obtained with Phase Genomics' proprietary proximity ligation sequencing assays and "similar in principle" to homologous recombination deficiency and tumor mutational burden scores used in cancer diagnostics, Liachko said.

In 2020, the firm received a combined $3.9 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop its technology for use in cytogenetics. It launched the OncoTerra platform for precision oncology research in early 2022. 

The firm has also received millions in grant funding to study applications in metagenomics and virus discovery, including therapeutic phages