BGI Selected as sequencing partner for development of Flow Pharma Personalized Cancer Vaccines

On February 28, 2019 Flow Pharma Inc., a San Francisco Bay Area biotechnology company focused on personalized vaccine development, reported that it has selected BGI Americas Inc. to provide the sequencing services required for all FlowVax neoantigen-based personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines under development by Flow Pharma (Press release, Flow Pharma, FEB 28, 2019, View Source [SID1234554003]).

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The first two Flow Pharma products under development are FlowVax HPV for the treatment of cervical cancer and FlowVax BreastCA for the treatment of breast cancer. FlowVax Breast CA will be a personalized therapeutic vaccine requiring patient-specific gene sequencing.

"The exciting new area of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines requires rapid, accurate genomic and transcriptomic sequencing. BGI Americas is unique in providing next generation sequencing services using its own unique DNBseq sequencing technology based on combinatorial probe-anchor synthesis (cPAS), linear isothermal rolling-circle replication and DNA nanoball (DNB) technology," said Victor Zhang, Ph.D., CEO of BGI Americas. "BGI has a strong track record supporting the therapeutic and biomarker development of top biopharma and biotech companies. Our DNBseq technology has been validated by leading academic centers and industry users and will deliver strong value in our collaboration with Flow Pharma."

"In order to make a personalized therapeutic cancer vaccine, you have to know the genomic information of the patient’s tumor as well as that of the patient. Speed and accuracy are both critical. Once we have these gene sequences, we can use AI-augmented bioinformatics tools to quickly identify tumor targets for T-cell attack and then rapidly load these targets into a FlowVax vaccine customized for that particular patient." Said Lu Wang, Ph.D., Flow Pharma bioinformatics team leader

"We have spent a decade developing the FlowVax vaccine platform. FlowVax is optimized to simultaneously deliver multiple unmodified peptide targets for killer T-cell attack. Each of the chemical components used in the FlowVax platform are currently part of an FDA approved vaccine or pharmaceutical, simplifying our regulatory pathway," said Charles Herst, Ph.D., Flow Pharma chief science officer. "Personalized FlowVax therapeutic vaccines can be manufactured quickly and efficiently, keeping the cost down and getting the therapy in the hands of treating physicians soon after the diagnosis is made, for maximum efficacy."

"We believe that BGI’s DNBseq NGS platform is the best in class for the rigorous requirements of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccine development. The fact that BGI Americas provides professional and competitive genomic sequencing services along with experience and knowledge in supporting drug development, allows us to become a full-stack company in the space without the time and expense required to bring gene sequencing technology in-house," said Reid Rubsamen, M.D., CEO of Flow Pharma.