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OncoPrecision Leading Cancer Patients to a World with Better...
Article, Featured, Innovation, Precision Medicine

OncoPrecision Leading Cancer Patients to a World with Better Outcomes

A Brief History

OncoPrecision, founded in September 2020, aims to be the solution to the challenges presented by the divergence in response to cancer therapy and current trial-and-error approaches to treating this complex disease.

The team has strong personal relationships with cancer and OncoPrecision’s scientists have dedicated their academic careers to cancer research with one mission: to improve patient outcomes.

OncoPrecision’s proprietary ex-vivo screening technology enables us to mimic the tumor microenvironment in a lean setup, to predict patients’ potential response to drugs and drug combinations.

The team developed a Precision Oncology platform, initially focused on hematological malignancies, to get the right cancer therapy to the right patient.

The initial results from a small group of patients have shown great potential and the next step for the team is larger clinical validation studies.

Game Changing Idea

The team are working on an assay that will provide doctors a Drug Activity Ranking to help them choose cancer therapies based on FDA-approved medicines.

They are utilising patient-derived cells to try to reproduce the patient’s malignancy ex-vivo and test their tumorous cells with medicines and drug combinations to learn more about their potential toxicity.

World Class Team

OncoPrecision - Founders

Gastón Soria(Co-Founder & CSO) 

Gastón graduated from Instituto Leloir and the University of Buenos Aires with a degree in genetics and a PhD in cell biology, as well as a research internship at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. 

After completing his postdoctoral studies at the Institut Curie in Paris, he returned to Argentina in 2012. 

These encounters add up to 13 years of expertise in various parts of cancer research, with an emphasis on DNA replication, DNA repair, and epigenetics.

Gastón joined the National University of Córdoba as an Assistant Professor and Researcher in 2013, and in 2014, he created his own translational cancer research team.

His team wants to create phenotypic screening platforms to find new targets and medicines for cancer treatment that function on the synthetic lethality concept. 

His group has created major research collaborations with pharmaceutical firms such as GlaxoSmithKline in the last five years, which have resulted in funding, cooperative publications, bidirectional MTAs, and technology licencing. 

Gastón’s group relocated to FPM, a high-complexity diagnostics lab, in 2020 to begin a precision oncology project based on the creation of screening assays utilising patient-derived cancer cells, which laid the groundwork for OncoPrecision.

Tarek A Zaki(Co-Founder & CEO) 

Tarek attended Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he majored in Entrepreneurship. 

He co-founded Ando, a Buenos Aires-based urban last-mile package delivery platform that was eventually purchased by Moova, a well-funded company in the same area, while at Babson. 

Tarek joined Gatewood Capital Partners in New York after graduating from Babson with a Summa Cum Laude, with the objective of better understanding the dynamics of mergers and acquisitions in order to be prepared for future possibilities. 

For a year, he worked as an analyst for the firm’s US$220 million launch fund. 

In August 2019, he returned to Argentina and joined Moova to carry on the Ando tradition, but with the goal of eventually founding a new business to effect good change in the field of cancer.

Candelaria LLorens de los Ríos (Co-Founder & Director of Lab Operations)

Candelaria earned a biology degree from the National University of Córdoba’s Physics and Natural Sciences College in 2009. 

Candelaria was enrolled in a PhD programme at the National University of Córdoba from 2012 to 2017, where she concentrated on cancer cellular and molecular biology.

Mechanisms for intervention in tumour development, metastasis, and antitumoral treatment resistance were major topics of inquiry during her PhD.

Candelaria did field work at Dr. Kazanietz’s laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania’s Pharmacology Department in 2015 while enrolled in the PhD programme. 

She also worked in Dr. Gutkind’s research at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, for several months in 2017 and 2018. 

Candelaria obtained funding from prestigious institutions such as the Journal of Cell Science, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Fullbright – Bunge & Born throughout her work experiences.

Gerardo Gatti( Co-Founder & Medical-Scientific Liaison)

Gerardo graduated from the National University of Córdoba’s College of Chemical Science with a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Immunology. 

His postdoctoral training was at the Fundación para el Progreso de la Medicina (FPM) in Córdoba, Argentina, a high-complexity diagnostics lab. 

Gerardo worked at Dr. Mandruzzato’s lab at the University of Padova’s Department of Oncological and Surgical Sciences and Dr. Coussens’ group at Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of Cell, Developmental, and Cancer Biology in Portland.

In the disciplines of immunology and immuno-oncology, he has a lot of research experience. 

One of the goals of the Translational exploration collaboration in clinical oncology is to perform clinical assessments of novel biomarkers in solid tumours, which he lead a team of researchers to do in 2013. 

Gerardo joined FPM as a researcher in 2014, where he now runs his own immunological cancer research team. 

His group has made significant contributions to the development of novel prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in breast cancer.

OncoPrecision – Bettering Patient’s Lives and Outcomes

OncoPrecision - Full Team Outing

This platform will provide doctors with important patient-specific data to assist them better assess cancer patients’ likely reactions to various therapies and prescribe the best treatment option for each patient. 

Their system will also be able to assist pharmaceutical companies in their drug development efforts by giving patient response data to help them match people for clinical trials and provide critical information on off-label use.

Precision Oncology’s Ascension

Historically, cancer therapy has taken a one-size-fits-all approach, with medicines and other therapies developed to treat large groups of people being recommended based on demographic characteristics rather than the chance of a favourable response in an individual patient. 

Cancer is such a diverse illness, one-size-fits-all methods to treatment are not always effective, and patients’ reactions to cancer treatments vary greatly depending on a variety of personal characteristics.

Functional Assays Adapt to Cancer’s Complexity

Ex-vivo cultivation of cancer cells from patients “replicates” the disease’s full mutational landscape. 

Functional tests are more concerned with cellular outcomes (for example, cancer cell death versus cell survival in response to a medication) than with driver gene changes. 

Drug tests using functional assays are unaffected by the medication’s kind, origin, or cost.

Solving a Fundamental Issue

Cancer is a disease that is very heterogeneous, which means that each patient is different. 

This is also true of a patient’s response to the medicine they’ve been prescribed, and cancer treatment is still largely based on universal principles and a trial-and-error approach to dosage. 

As a result, many patients do not react to first-line treatment, and both people and healthcare systems lose a lot of money on therapies that don’t work.

We envision a world where every cancer patient receives the best possible treatment and patient outcomes improve dramatically by moving away from the one-size-fits-all approach.

Tarek A. Zaki – Co-Founder & CEO OncoPrecision

To find out more about OncoPrecision check out their website and to keep up with all the latest from them follow them on Twitter!

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