Newly developed computational tools and large datasets with low bias will lead to robust neoantigen prediction and improved personalized cancer therapies
LONDON, Dec. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achilles Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ACHL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing AI-powered precision T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens to treat solid tumors, today announced publication of a ‘Comment’ in Nature Cancer that outlines the vast potential of neoantigen immunogenicity prediction, discusses current limitations in the field that limit performance, and proposes a path forward.
The article, entitled Breaking the performance ceiling for neoantigen immunogenicity prediction, makes the case that the efficient and accurate selection of immunogenic neoantigens is a critical determinant in neoantigen-based personalized tumor therapies. Selecting which neoantigens to use in drug development based on their immunogenicity is crucial for efficacy of personalized treatments as only a few neoantigens will be clinically relevant.
The authors of the ‘Comment’ are all researchers affiliated with the DECOD-Ag consortium of which Achilles Therapeutics is a member. They note recent improvements in computational immunogenicity-prediction models and suggest that the performance of currently available artificial intelligence (AI) methods for immunogenicity ranking will be surpassed by robust prediction algorithms built from larger datasets with lower bias.
Achilles has built a world-leading, AI-powered PELEUS™ bioinformatics platform to identify clonal neoantigens from each patient’s unique tumor profile. The proprietary PELEUS™ platform was developed and validated with sequence data from the landmark TRACERx study led by Achilles co-founder Professor Charles Swanton of the Crick Institute. Achilles has exclusive commercial rights to the TRACERx study, which has generated one of the largest data sets ever collected to analyze tumor evolution.
Earlier this year, the Company announced analysis results showing that the new AI application of its PELEUS bioinformatics platform, trained with proprietary real-world data, outperformed current AI and non-AI state-of-the-art methods for neoantigen immunogenicity prediction, enabling the identification of the most potent clonal neoantigens for personalized cancer therapies.
Co-author Dr Sergio Quezada, Chief Scientific Officer of Achilles, commented: “Accurate prediction of neoantigen immunogenicity can be pivotal in determining the efficacy of immunological treatments. It is therefore essential that we collaborate to refine our prediction models and improve the precision of our T cell therapies.”
About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing AI-Powered precision T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to the individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. The Company has two ongoing Phase I/IIa trials, the CHIRON trial in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the THETIS trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with its proprietary PELEUS™ bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient, and then develop precision T cell-based product candidates specifically targeting those clonal neoantigens.
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