Press Release

Envisagenics Announces Research Program with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson

April 21, 2020

New York, NY–(April 21, 2020) – Envisagenics, a company developing therapeutics for RNA splicing errors that often lead to genetic disorders including cancer, announced today that it has entered into a research program agreement with the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) at Johnson & Johnson. Through this initiative, Envisagenics will build predictive models for lung cancer progression and risk. The Envisagenics team will leverage its expertise in splicing and RNA-sequencing to analyze LCI’s data using Envisagenics’ SpliceCore® software platform.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally, and it is difficult to treat in later stages,” said Maria Luisa Pineda, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envisagenics. “That is why it is so important for Envisagenics to identify early determinants of lung cancer risk. Envisagenics hopes to identify RNA splicing events that can predict lung cancer, and in the future, develop new therapies for patients.”

Martin Akerman, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Envisagenics, commented, “Tumor cells can literally cut-and-paste RNAs to produce unique cancerous proteins. Detecting these RNA splicing events early could mean better prognoses for lung cancer patients. SpliceCore can extract these biological insights because it can scan through millions of potential RNA splicing events from 1,000 patient samples in two hours.”

About Envisagenics

Envisagenics is a company focused on designing therapeutics to target RNA splice variants that cause cancer and other genetic diseases. The process is driven by machine learning algorithms in its SpliceCore software platform, which includes a proprietary database of more than 5 million potential RNA splicing errors. SpliceCore’s scalable cloud computing can identify, test, and validate hypothetical drug targets faster than traditional methods. Envisagenics works with biopharmaceutical companies to enhance their drug discovery capabilities.

Based on SpliceCore, Envisagenics identifies potential targets for in-house therapeutic development. The company is currently preclinically developing ENV-0205 for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). A critical unmet need remains for TNBC patients since there is no effective targeted therapy for this aggressive type of breast cancer.

Envisagenics was named the North American Winner of the Microsoft Innovate.AI competition and won the Johnson & Johnson, JLABS Artificial Intelligence for Drug Discovery QuickFire Challenge. Envisagenics is a spin-out of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a current resident of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, NYC.

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