MDS Pharma Services, the US-based contract research unit of Canadian life sciences company MDS, is collaborating with molecular data specialist Compendia Bioscience to develop OncoPredictor, a joint solution geared to faster, more effective cancer drug development.

The new tool will combine MDS Pharma Services’ OncoPanel service with Compendia’s Oncomine database to create an integrated solution that will help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies identify the populations most likely to respond to new or existing cancer therapies.

The OncoPredictor system will allow users to analyse drug sensitivity and resistance patterns with novel compounds and combinations, as well as establishing associations with disease sub-types and underlying tumour biology, Compendia said.

“Based on our experience working with 15 of the top 20 companies pursuing the development of cancer treatments, we believe this integrated solution could revolutionise cancer genomics for drug development,” commented Dr Dan Rhodes, chief executive officer and co-founder of Compendia.

MDS Pharma’s OncoPanel offers high-content screening of up to 240 cancer cell lines to assess the cytotoxicity and chemotherapeutic potential of cancer drugs and combinations. Compendia’s Oncomine is a database of cancer genomic profiles coupled with an analysis web application, enabling the comparison of cancer cell lines to 2,000 disease signatures from more than 27,000 reference patients based on molecular, pathological and histological subtypes.

MDS Pharma Services is the only contract research organisation with first-hand experience of delivering high-quality cellular data on such a large scale using the exact growth and culture conditions that gave rise to the genomic data in Oncomine, the partners noted.

OncoPredictor will be delivered as a stand-alone, end-to-end service and will not require a licence to any of Compendia’s Oncomine offerings. According to MDS Pharma president David Spaight, Oncomine “has become a standard platform in the industry. We believe our joint solution … can also become an industry standard in oncology drug development at a cost affordable for both large and smaller companies”.