PROVIDENCE – Medley Genomics, a life sciences startup out of Brown University, has received $250,000 in seed funding from the Slater Technology Fund to build partnerships and demonstrate its concept with collaborators.
Richard G. Horan, senior managing director of the Slater Technology Fund, said on Wednesday that the fund is excited to support Medley Genomics, calling it a “promising new startup.”
“Medley’s founders have deep, first-hand understanding of leading genomic analysis technologies and detailed knowledge of those in development, along with leading-edge software for evaluating and quantitating genomic heterogeneity. They are targeting a problem that has become the latest front in the war on cancer, an area where truly meaningful advances are being introduced into clinical practice,” Horan said in a statement.
According to a news release from Slater, Medley Genomics is the first personalized medicine company founded to use genomic analysis methods to assess the complex genomic heterogeneity found in biological samples.
The company aims to develop a “new paradigm” in personalized oncology by defining genomic heterogeneity in tumors of patients to assist clinical decision-making, resulting in better patient outcomes, the release said.
It said treatment decisions now often are directed by the molecular profile of a patient’s tumor, a profile derived from the most frequent molecular alterations identified in the tumor.
However, a treatment challenge lies in the underlying heterogeneity of the tumor cells, which are each driven by unique molecular signatures.
“While treatment may have previously held the cancer at bay, rarer cell subpopulations often emerge from the tumor and proliferate, leading to treatment resistance and tumor progression or metastases. Medley’s mission is to quantify the genomic heterogeneity and unique cell subpopulations in a tumor and to use this knowledge to inform initial therapeutic decisions, including combination therapies, with the hope of offering significant benefit in patient outcomes,” the release said.
Based on technology and software tools developed in the lab of Benjamin Raphael, formerly professor of computer science and director of the Center for Computational Molecular Biology at Brown University, and now at Princeton University, Medley Genomics recently attracted a new CEO, Patrice Milos, described by Slater as “a pioneer in the fields of genomics and medicine.”
Milos previously served as CEO of Claritas Genomics, an executive at Pfizer and senior vice president at Helicos BioSciences.
Other Medley Genomics founding team members include Dr. Barrett Bready, co-founder and CEO of Nabsys, a developer of a genome mapping platform, and Katherine Gordon, managing director of the Technology Ventures Office at Brown University.