By now, companies developing genomic sequencing technology are a dime a dozen, but most of them are only working on one piece of the puzzle between performing the actual genomic analysis and translating those findings into actionable clinical information.
Aiming to bridge that gap and broaden their individual scopes are Sophia Genetics and OncoDNA. The pair have formed a partnership that will combine their respective technologies into an all-in-one platform for tumor profiling.
Sophia Genetics has developed the DDM platform, named for its mission to make “data-driven medicine” the norm. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze raw sequencing data to detect, annotate and classify complex genetic variants linked to various types of cancer.
OncoDNA, meanwhile, focuses on uncovering the patient-specific implications of those findings. Its OncoKDM platform—a “knowledge-driven machine”—reads genomic analyses like those produced by Sophia’s technology and generates a report detailing potential treatment options, personalized to each patient’s variant profile and lifelong health data. Beyond its clinical uses, the platform can also help researchers identify the best possible participants for experimental drug trials.
By combining both software tools, Sophia and OncoDNA will have created a platform that automates the entire tumor profiling process, from identifying genetic variants in sequencing data all the way through suggesting the most effective treatments for those variants.
Not only will the combined system improve access to high-volume genomic analysis thanks to Sophia’s technology, but it may also point clinical teams toward therapies they wouldn’t have otherwise suggested. OncoKDM’s database, which already comprises more than 4.5 million genetic variants and 1,150 cancer drugs, is regularly updated with new information about recently approved drugs and those currently under investigation, allowing patients to be matched to the most cutting-edge therapies available.
“By collaborating with them, we will be able to leverage our combined scientific and technical knowledge in oncology to provide an even more comprehensive solution that will enable laboratories to integrate large-panel genomic profiling into their workflows and outsmart the molecular complexity of cancer independently,” said Jean-Pol Detiffe, OncoDNA’s chief strategy and innovation officer.
This latest partnership builds on Sophia’s other recent efforts to make genome-specific treatments the norm in cancer care.
In July, it joined forces with GE Healthcare for the same purpose: Their team-up combines Sophia’s machine learning-powered system with GE’s imaging, monitoring and data analysis tools. They’re aiming to devise a platform that compiles a cancer patent’s health record, lab test results, sequencing data and device-collected information all in one place, which clinicians can use to create customized treatment plans and biopharma researchers can use to design and recruit participants for clinical trials.
This ongoing expansion of the reach of Sophia’s platform comes on the heels of a monster funding round for the Swiss company. It raised $110 million a year ago for the express purpose of broadening the capabilities of the DDM software.