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BERG Expands Research Collaboration with Department of Defense and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to Advance Precision Medicine for Breast Cancer Patients

Posted on: 25 Oct 16

BOSTON, Oct. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- BERG, a biopharmaceutical company uncovering health solutions through a data-driven, biological research approach, today announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with partners of the Department of Defense's Clinical Breast Care Project (CBCP) including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, The Windber Research Institute and The Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), to advance breast cancer research and develop personalized treatment strategies for breast cancer patients.

The agreement expands BERG's relationship with Department of Defense (DoD) research initiatives; the company formed a research collaboration in prostate cancer in late 2013 with Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The ongoing project has advanced novel biomarkers for diagnoses of prostate cancer into prospective clinical trials following validation in retrospective cohorts.

"I am pleased by the progress we have made since 2013 in partnering with the Department of Defense on prostate cancer research and drug development," said Niven R. Narain, co-founder, president and CEO of BERG. "This new expansion of our collaboration will aid us in developing personalized breast cancer treatment strategies for both civilians and the U.S. Armed Forces."

BERG will utilize its artificial intelligence-based Interrogative Biology® platform to analyze CBCP's expansive bank of serum and tissue samples of several different breast cancer subtypes. In a true precision medicine approach, BERG's technology will seek out molecular signatures to help understand the disease and advise on new treatment strategies based on patient biology and disease outcomes. BERG's multi-omics approach and proprietary technology will identify molecular phenotypes capable of predicting tumor behavior, including response to conventional therapies, and will start the process of identifying novel mechanistic targets for therapeutic intervention. Colonel Craig D. Shriver, MD, the CBCP Principal Investigator and Director of Walter Reed Bethesda's John P. Murtha Cancer Center.

The ambitious breast cancer research collaboration comes at a crucial time for both civilians and U.S. Armed Forces personnel: each year, 230,815 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer and find themselves in need of new, personalized and more effective approaches to treatment (SOURCE: Breast cancer accounts for the highest number of cancer deaths among women under 40 and, as such, potentially affects active duty women as well.

Breast cancer is a curable disease if it is detected early, and early detection is related to survivorship, cost of treatment and quality of life for the affected woman. With the increasing percentage of female active duty service members in the U.S Armed Forces, advances in treatment for breast cancer would potentially benefit them as well. 

"The BERG approach represents a significant departure from the way we conduct drug development today and most likely is the way we will conduct development in the future. I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of this collaboration," stated Linda Vahdat MD, MBA Professor of Medicine and Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York.

About BERG
BERG is a clinical-stage company disrupting and re-defining the approach to drug discovery, research and development through its Interrogative Biology® platform.  Its platform identifies therapies and biomarkers by applying algorithm- and probability-based artificial intelligence to analyze large numbers of patients' genotypic, phenotypic and other characteristics.  BERG's platform operates at the intersection of biology, technology and artificial intelligence analytics and integrates many data characteristics regarding patients' lifestyles, demographics and biology.  BERG believes this allows the company to better understand patients' disease profiles and consequently to identify and reveal molecular signatures to guide and accelerate product candidate selection and development. By identifying biomarkers and patient characteristics that are unique to the disease state, BERG is able to identify novel therapeutic product candidates and develop companion diagnostics to enhance specificity in its drug development process. 

BERG has leveraged its Interrogative Biology® platform to develop a robust pipeline of therapeutic product candidates and diagnostics in cancer, diabetes and neurology.  Its lead drug, BPM-31510 (IV), has the potential to slow or reverse cancer cell growth by changing a hypothesized fundamental driver of many different types of cancer.  BERG has initiated a Phase II clinical trial for BPM-31510 (IV) in advanced pancreatic cancer in combination with a common cancer drug, among other ongoing and planned trials for BPM-31510 (IV) in various oncological indications.

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Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 25/10/2016

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