- Boston-based drugmaker BERG said Monday that it is collaborating with the Department of Defense’s Clinical Breast Care Project to research and develop precision medicine strategies for breast cancer patients.
- The effort will utilize BERG’s artificial intelligence-based Interrogative Biology platform to analyze breast cancer samples and identify molecular phenotypes to help care decisions.
- About 230,815 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and it is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women under 40, according to the company.
Using molecular phenotypes, BERG and researchers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, The Windber Research Institute and The Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine will attempt to predict tumor behavior, response to conventional therapies and novel mechanistic targets for treatment intervention.
The collaboration is BERG’s second with DOD. In 2013, the company partnered with the Walter Reed’s Center for Prostate Disease Research to advance novel biomarkers for prostate cancer. Those biomarkers are now being evaluated in clinical trials.
Breast cancer death rates dropped overall between 2010 and 2014, but racial disparities remain, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency attributed the improvement in part to increased access to personalized medicine.
Last week, Vice President Biden released the final “cancer moonshot” report outlining a number of private and public initiatives to accelerate promising cancer treatments and cures. One of those is a DOD longitudinal study of 250,000 biomarkers in service members.
The Obama administration, researchers and patient groups are urging Congress to approve about $700 million for cancer programs during the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, The Washington Post reports.