2023-04-17| Funding

Pfizer-backed Flare Taps Caris To Boost Precision Oncology Pipeline

by Joy Lin
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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Flare Therapeutics has announced a collaboration with Caris Life Sciences, a molecular science company, to accelerate Flare’s five programs into clinical trials. The multi-year partnership will achieve this by using molecular and liquid profiling to guide patient selection and participation. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Flare Therapeutics is coming out strong following a $123 million Series B financing round co-led by Pfizer Ventures and GordonMD Global Investments LP. The company, launched in May 2021 with an $82 million Series A round, is pioneering an approach to uncover therapeutic targets in transcription factors, which could translate into anticancer medicines. 

Related article: 10 Precision Oncology Companies to Look Out for 

Data Analytics and Molecular Profiling For Accelerating Pipeline Candidates

Under the terms of the agreement, Flare would access Caris’ AI-powered data analytics to accelerate the discovery of anticancer drugs, identify new biomarkers, and utilize a biomarker-driven approach for patient selection. 

Through molecular profiling and machine learning, Caris has created an extensive clinical-genomic database to understand disease mechanisms. Caris’ services include whole exome sequencing and whole transcriptome sequencing, which will be used on patients treated with Flare’s therapies. Caris will also get the first dibs to develop a companion diagnostic for drug candidates generated by the collaboration. 

To date, Flare has five preclinical candidates running in its pipeline. Each program targets transcription factor dysregulation and mutations that drive cancer. Its most advanced asset, FX-909, is a PPARG (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma) inhibitor indicated for advanced urothelial cancer and solid tumors, and is expected to begin clinical trials this year. The remaining transcription factor programs are in the discovery phase. 

“This broad partnership with Flare will leverage Caris’ leading molecular science and technology solutions to support Flare’s novel approach to decipher the biology of transcription factors to develop small molecule medicines,” said Milan Radovich, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and CEO of Caris. “The data accessibility and continuum across real-world and clinical trial populations will provide Flare the necessary insights for successful molecule discovery and development.”

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