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    GeneKey's Approach

    GeneKey takes a unique and novel approach that looks at the entire genome of your tumor and can identify options from the pharmacopia of more than 2,000 FDA-approved drugs as well as investigational drugs. Our strategy takes patients and doctors a step beyond the latest molecular tests and targeted drugs that are reaching the market, into the era of truly personalized cancer treatment.

    Patients fighting cancer today don't have time to wait for new treatments to be developed. What they need to know is whether any drugs that are already on the market might be effective against their cancer. This is not idle speculation. Thalidomide, rapamycin and metformin are now being used for cancer, transcending their original indications for morning sickness, immune suppression and diabetes. We can point to numerous other examples (see table below). These uses have typically been discovered by serendipity, and there are without doubt many other drugs whose anticancer potential has not yet been discovered.

    At GeneKey, our scientists – experts in drug discovery and pioneers in drug repositioning - examine your full cancer genome to understand what biological mechanisms may be causing or sustaining your cancer. In contrast to current diagnostics that look at single observations (such as the presence of an EGFR mutation), we carry out our investigation at the functional/pathway level. We look for dozens of pieces of evidence that converge in a single direction in order to identify mechanisms that appear to be driving the cancer. We then search among the thousands of approved drugs and investigational therapies for drugs that target those mechanisms. This allows you and your physician to expand your options beyond conventional drugs to treatments that would not have been considered, but which have a direct basis in scientific knowledge about your specific disease. Our analyses frequently point to drugs that are already in use for some cancers, but have not yet been tested against our clients' diseases. We also find data to support trying drugs that are on the market for non-cancer conditions.

    In addition, we will partner with you and your oncologist to design/conduct studies to answer questions that may inform treatment decisions on an ongoing basis.

    Non-cancer therapies in use for cancer

    Drug / module Original Indication Cancer Indications
    Thalidomide Erythema nodosum leprosum
    Multiple myeloma
    Rapamycin, Temsirolimus Prevention of graft rejection Karposi’s sarcoma, Glioblastoma, Lymphoma
    Interferon Viral infections Melanoma, kidney cancer*, lymphoma*, GI tract cancer* etc.
    Bacille Calmette Guerin vaccine Tuberculosis Bladder cancer
    Metformin* Diabetes Breast cancer, lymphoma, solid tumor etc.
    Nelfinavir, Saquinavir* HIV Glioblastoma, rectal cancer, pancreatic cancer
    Aspirin Pain Prevention of colorectal polyps and cancer
    Verapamil* Cardiac arrhythmia Meningioma
    Digitalis* Heart failure Non-small cell lung cancer
    Nitroglycerin* Coronary heart disease Non-small cell lung cancer
    Hydralazine* Hypertension Cervical cancer
    Pravastatin* Cholesterolemia Small cell lung cancer and Acute myeloid leukemia
    Lovastatin* Cholesterolemia Melanoma, ovarian cancer etc.
    Chloroquine* Malaria Glioblastoma multiforme and Small cell lung cancer
    Mifepristone* Abortion Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer etc.


    * In clinical trials for these cancer indications

    Contact us to learn whether GeneKey can be helpful to you.