APR 07, 2015 1:10 PM PDT

New R&D Alliance Forms to Find First-Ever Biomarker for Pancreatic Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Ilene Schneider
Biopharmaceutical firm Berg is joining forces with two prominent Harvard-affiliated medical research institutions, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team (PCRT) and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), to launch Project Survival.
The medication, BPM 31510, is managed by artificial intelligence and is capable of altering cancer cell metabolism.
All three organizations will work together to find the first-ever biomarker associated with pancreatic cancer and to develop therapies for the disease based on these findings.

In a phone interview with Drug Discovery & Development, Berg's President, Co-Founder, and Chief Technology Officer Niven R. Narain touted the benefits of the collaboration saying, "This is the first time in history using a precision medicine method will give us an excellent understanding of pancreatic cancer."

Here is how this partnership will work:

PCRT's researchers will lay the necessary groundwork for assembling samples and appropriate clinical data for locating and verifying these pancreatic cancer biomarkers.

Next, BIDMC and PCRT will plan clinical trials and initiate phase 2 studies for BPM 31510, Berg's lead drug candidate for metastatic pancreatic cancer. The tests will be conducted at all 48 PCRT sites.

The medication, BPM 31510, is managed by artificial intelligence and is capable of altering cancer cell metabolism, according to the press release.

Each organization will provide Berg with healthy and treated pancreatic tissue, bio-fluids, and treatment results to be analyzed using the company's Interrogative Biology Platform. Narain told Drug Discovery & Development this tool can analyze "14 trillion data points" from biological samples to match the best treatments for every patient.

"We'll be able to diagnose this disease much earlier than before, which is important because it's a silent killer," Narain added.

The National Cancer Institute reports that 48,960 people will be diagnosed with this pancreatic cancer in 2015, and this disease will account for about 7 percent of cancer deaths.

Narain emphasized the project's tentative timeline. "It is on a rolling schedule, but the surgeries should be completed within the first two years, and we should have a better understanding of the lead candidate biomarker by the third year."
About the Author
  • Ilene Schneider is the owner of Schneider the Writer, a firm that provides communications for health care, high technology and service enterprises. Her specialties include public relations, media relations, advertising, journalistic writing, editing, grant writing and corporate creativity consulting services. Prior to starting her own business in 1985, Ilene was editor of the Cleveland edition of TV Guide, associate editor of School Product News (Penton Publishing) and senior public relations representative at Beckman Instruments, Inc. She was profiled in a book, How to Open and Operate a Home-Based Writing Business and listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Advertising and Who's Who in Media and Communications. She was the recipient of the Women in Communications, Inc. Clarion Award in advertising. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ilene and her family have lived in Irvine, California, since 1978.
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