- POAI subsidiary Helomics exec discusses the company’s quest to fight cancer
- Helomics tapping into the fast growing, billion-dollar AI in drug discovery market
- Pittsburgh-based company has been building foundational groundwork in cancer drug response profiling for two decades
- Helomics harnesses rich historic tumor data with the power of AI to test living tumor tissues
Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI), a knowledge-driven company focused on applying artificial intelligence (“AI”) to personalized medicine and drug discovery, announced that one of its executives, Helomics CIO Mark Collins, PhD, recently appeared on DojoLIVE! (https://ibn.fm/hSAn4). Helomics, a POAI subsidiary, applies artificial intelligence to its rich data gathered from more than 150,000 tumors to personalize cancer therapies for patients as well as drive the development of new targeted therapies in collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.
Collins addressed this powerful work during the DojoLive! Interview, which was titled, “Can We Cure Cancer with Artificial Intelligence?” During the interview, Collins observed that using computers to help discover new anti-cancer drugs has been a lifelong passion of his. “The last 20 years of my career, I’ve been trying to realize that vision of how the convergence of AI, data and biology can be used to discover new drugs,” he said.
Joining Helomics has been an important part of that journey, Collins said, noting that the Pittsburgh-based company has been around for some two decades. “The founder, Dr Paul Kornblith, developed an innovative approach to individualizing treatment by taking a piece of tumor from a patient’s body and growing it in the lab and testing drugs on it, and he had some amazing successes,” Collins said. “Over the past three years we’ve leveraged these assets, such as the data that the company has gathered over these 20 years of testing tumors on drugs to build an AI-driven drug discovery services company.
“So that’s kind of where we are today,” Collins continued, noting that the company mission and vision was partly fueled by the passion felt by company leaders and partly circumstances because it had already gathered the data. “What it comes down to, at Helomics we have a very nice convergence of data that we’ve gathered from testing live tumors outside of the patient’s body, on standard-of-care drugs you might get if you were diagnosed with cancer, together with access to outcome data.”
Collins noted that Helomics has a “massive collection of data . . . And we have AI,” he said. “And it’s that convergence of AI, the big data, if you will, and the biology, where we’re able to test drugs on living tumor tissue rather than some artificial system, that we really believe will revolutionize drug discovery and impact the patients of tomorrow.
Helomics is not alone in this application of AI to drug discovery, which a recent report from Markets and Markets indicated is valued at $1.4B by 2024 (https://ibn.fm/UbGbI), but does believe its unique platform offers significant value to Pharma companies.
Helping the patients of today, Collins explained, Helomics has a clinical test for ovarian cancer that harnesses the patient’s own tumor to guide treatment. He notes, “We grow the tumor in the lab, test drugs on it, we look at different mutations on the tumor, and then we. . . compare that with the data we have in our data base, and we feed that back to the oncologist to guide treatment. We don’t make a recommendation; we can’t prescribe the drug. But this information really helps the clinician to decide how best to individualize the drug choice for the patient.”
DojoLive! is a podcast and interview forum that brings together a roster of technology, business and thought leaders from a wide range of software companies and startups. The episode featuring Collins, titled “Can We Cure Cancer with Artificial Intelligence?”, is available for on-demand viewing on the DojoLIVE! website.
POAI is bringing precision medicine, or tailored medical treatment using the individual characteristics of each patient, to the treatment of cancer. Through the company’s Helomics division, the company leverages its unique, clinically validated patient derived (“PDx”) smart tumor profiling platform to provide oncologists with a road map to help individualize therapy. In addition, the company is utilizing artificial intelligence and its proprietary database of over 150,000 cancer cases tumors to build AI-driven models of tumor drug response to improve outcomes for the patients of today and tomorrow.
For more information about the company, visit www.Predictive-Oncology.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to POAI are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/POAI