Onconova Therapeutics and Mission Bio Partner to Advance Precision Oncology Clinical Trials Employing Single-Cell Genomics

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Onconova Therapeutics, Inc., a Phase 3 stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel products to treat cancer, with a focus on Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), and Mission Bio, the pioneer in targeted single-cell DNA analysis and precision genomics, today announced that they have formed a collaboration to utilize the Mission Bio TapestriⓇ Platform for targeted single-cell DNA analysis to study Onconova’s novel cancer therapy, rigosertib, through clinical trials.

With the growing complexity of clinical trials, precision biomarkers are needed to reduce the time and costs associated with the drug development cycle. Broad-based sequencing technologies lack the sensitivity to identify the earlier initial single cell events  that contain the driver mutations that initiate the oncologic disease. With the Mission Bio Tapestri Platform, researchers can detect rare cancer subclones and co-occurring cancer mutations at the single-cell level, offering a precise way to measure therapy response and disease progression.  Supporting the pharma and biopharma industries through clinical trials and commercialization continues to be a focus for Mission Bio.

Ras proteins control cell proliferation, and mutation of this protein can lead to cancer in affected individuals. Ras is mutated in over 30 percent of patients with cancer, making it one of the most sought-after targets. Onconova is developing rigosertib, a first-in-class, small molecule Ras mimetic, to target this mutation. Rigosertib blocks the activation of Ras effector proteins, thus modulating the Ras pathway. Onconova’s goal is to fully enroll INSPIRE, its phase 3 clinical trial studying rigosertib in higher-risk MDS patients who fail the current standard of care, by year-end.

“Through single-cell genomics, we can identify mutations with far better resolution than that of traditional sequencing methods. This allows a view into each patient’s disease at a level never before achieved,” explained Darrin Crisitello, CCO of Mission Bio. “The Tapestri Platform can identify subclones that help monitor a patient's response to research drugs in clinical trials, supporting the advancement of rigosertib to the clinic.”

“Rigosertib has the potential to be the first new higher-risk MDS treatment in more than 15 years, for a condition affecting an estimated 59,000 patients with low and higher-risk MDS in the United States alone,” said Dr. Steve Fruchtman, CEO of Onconova. “In adding the Tapestri Platform to our research and development program, we are including the opportunity to study single cell clones in MDS and determine the sequence of genetic events and the influence of rigosertib on these events along with clinical outcomes. These studies have the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients in need.”