Microbiotica, Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University Hospitals collaborate in landmark cancer microbiome study
Microbiotica, a leading player in microbiome-based therapeutics and biomarkers, Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“CUH”), today announce a collaboration to identify and develop microbiome co-therapeutics and biomarkers for cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
The collaboration is based on clinical studies conducted by CUH that evaluate immune checkpoint inhibitor drug response in cancer patients, combined with Microbiotica’s unrivalled microbiome profiling and analysis capability.
Two clinical studies are involved: MELRESIST, a completed class-leading melanoma study, and MITRE, a major landmark study in melanoma, lung, and renal cancer, involving 1,800 patients, specifically designed for evaluation of microbiome and other biomarker effects.
The MITRE study will be co-led by Dr Trevor Lawley, Microbiotica’s co-founder and CSO, and Dr Pippa Corrie, Consultant in Medical Oncology at CUH, and will involve comprehensive patient sample collection, data collection and biochemical analysis, with medicines provided by the NHS. Microbiotica will undertake mass culturing of patient gut bacteria, microbiome sequencing and machine learning analysis.
Checkpoint inhibitors have transformed the management of cancer, due to the range of cancers that can be treated and their high levels of efficacy, including complete remission in some cases. However, response rates are low, typically in the range 10-40% of patients. There is therefore a major unmet need for co-therapies to extend the number of responders and for biomarkers to stratify patients for treatment.
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