Endometriosis, 3D illustration

U.K. techbio PrecisionLife has entered into a data access agreement with the University of Oxford to discover personalized treatments for women with endometriosis.

The company is licensing the Oxford Endometriosis Gene (OXEGENE) dataset in the hope of identifying genetic differences between women with endometriosis and the underlying mechanisms driving their condition.

The data agreement with the University’s Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health could lead to more personalized diagnoses for patients and the identification of novel drug targets.

OXEGENE contains anonymized genotype data from 1000 patients with surgically confirmed endometriosis and includes both disease stage and infertility status.

“The complexity of chronic diseases like endometriosis means that patients with the same diagnosis may well have different mechanistic etiologies and will benefit from different therapies based on their personal make-up and circumstances,” CEO and co-founder of PrecisionLife Steve Gardner, PhD, explained to Inside Precision Medicine.

These differences do not show up in current gold-standard genomic analyses such as genome-wide association studies, so genomic medicine has had a limited impact on these diseases.

“In order to overcome this challenge, PrecisionLife has completely reimagined how to analyze multi-modal patient datasets and capture non-linear interaction between multiple genes and exogenous factors in complex diseases,” he continued.

“Our deeper disease insights enable mechanistic patient stratification, identification of novel drug targets matched to patient subgroups, highly predictive risk models and diagnostic biomarker discovery—driving precision medicine beyond rare disease and cancer, into complex chronic diseases.”

Endometriosis is a disorder where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, often the ovaries, fallopian tubes and tissues lining the pelvis. It affects one in ten women, who have to wait on average more than seven years for a diagnosis.

There are currently neither diagnostic markers nor cures for the disease.

PrecisionLife aims to stratify patient populations at an unprecedented resolution to identify new subgroups of patients.

This enables the identification of novel drug targets, drug repositioning candidates and biomarkers to identify those patients that will obtain benefit from them.

The company says it has one of the largest drug pipelines of precision targeted therapies for unmet medical needs, with two new indications added each month.

It presented an analysis at the 15th World Congress of Endometriosis last month that identified the first biological subtypes of endometriosis, with combinations of genetic risk factors highlighting specific subgroups.

Together with the University of Oxford, the company is a partner in the  Finding Endometriosis using Machine Learning (FEMaLe) EU Horizon 2020 project, which aims to enable the delivery of precision medicine in endometriosis and improve the quality of life of patients.

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