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Novel data analysis methods will automate biomarker discovery to predict patient response in clinical trials

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–August 1, 2018–

Cytobank has been awarded a $1.3M Phase II SBIR grant from the NIH to scale and add more machine learning algorithms to its cloud-based informatics platform. In use at many leading academic institutions and the top ten global pharmaceutical companies, Cytobank’s research platform enables faster, more comprehensive analysis of the high-dimensional single cell datasets captured in immunotherapy clinical trials. There are greater than 1,000 active clinical trials for immunotherapies in oncology alone.

Immunotherapies already extend the lives of patients with many different types of cancer, but unfortunately, they only work for a minority of patients. One key to deciphering which patients will respond, and improving the therapies overall, is the discovery of biomarkers. Cytobank’s cloud-based platform analyzes very large data sets quickly and makes collaboration between scientists easy.

Dr. Antoni Ribas, Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Chair of the Melanoma Committee at SWOG, states, “The efficient identification of clinically informative biomarkers is critical to the success of immunotherapy. Single cell analysis technologies are generating larger and larger datasets from the significant and growing number of combination clinical trials. Informatics platforms like Cytobank are instrumental for quickly mining these datasets and discovering putative biomarkers.”

In addition to accelerating the pace at which biomarker discovery can occur, Cytobank’s unique capabilities enable the discovery of biomarkers that may be missed with traditional analysis approaches or non cloud-based platforms where collaboration across large datasets is challenging. “In our research we have found that high-dimensional machine learning-based analyses of clinical samples, like those enabled by Cytobank, can often reveal important cell populations that are missed with traditional manual analysis approaches,” observes Dr. Stephen Oh of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “It’s crucial for us to be as comprehensive and efficient as possible in our investigations, which is why we prefer to use platforms like Cytobank.”

Cytobank CEO David Craford comments, “We’re honored that the NIH/NIGMS has confidence in our platform, and I’m excited about the developments we will make to help our customers develop new therapies and diagnostics for improved patient care. The additions we plan to make with this grant should give us the capability to increase the analysis capacity for single cell data sets by 10-100X greater than what is possible today.”

About Cytobank

Cytobank Inc. is a private, for-profit company founded by scientists from Stanford University and based in Mountain View, California. We currently have positions open at Careers at Cytobank and are interested in meeting investors that believe in our mission to enable discovery from big data in immunology.

About the NIH SBIR Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency – making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. The NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. This competitive program helps small businesses participate in federal research and development, develop life-saving technologies, and create jobs.

Research described in this release is supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44GM117914. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Liz Johannesen, 415-613-2497


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