Our first journey at Elevation Oncology is the Phase 2 CRESTONE study, leading straight towards our first summit: NRG1 fusions. The tumor-agnostic approach we’ve chosen is non-traditional, but we’ve assembled a team of collaborators capable of blazing the trail and developing the tools and techniques that will smooth the way for the next summits to follow.
The first step in any precision oncology journey is genomic testing. These test results become the map that guides not only individual patient treatment decisions but also our path as precision therapeutic developers. That is why we’ve started building a network of partnerships with groups that are on the leading edge of genomic testing for cancer. In July, we announced our first set of partnerships with Ashion Analytics, Caris Life Sciences, Strata Oncology, and Tempus. With the addition of the US Oncology Research STAR network, just announced yesterday, we can now identify NRG1 fusion positive patients from over 400 clinical sites across the US.
More importantly, we can meet these patients and their healthcare providers wherever they are on their journey. Traditional oncology trial design is structured around silos of expertise, such as organ system or clinical trial stage. However, at Elevation Oncology we are driven by the scientific hypothesis that targeted inhibition of an oncogenic driver alteration, no matter when or where it is found, is the best opportunity for providing meaningful clinical benefit to our patients. This means that we must find ways to build new models and partnerships that can bridge these silos.
We are excited to work with our partners at Caris, Tempus, and US Oncology Research to pilot “on demand” clinical site activation programs so that when the time is right for a patient, we can bring CRESTONE directly to them in accordance with their location, travel preferences, organ system of origin, and established care team. We have found that this is particularly important to patients today given continued sensitivities and risks around travel due to COVID-19. We believe that this model, when used in parallel with traditional site selection and activation, can serve as the new template for efficiently developing therapeutics to treat rare genomic driver alterations.
In the coming quarter, we’re excited to publicly report on initial preclinical data supporting the CRESTONE study from another set of foundational partnerships with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and WuXi Biologics. Preclinical proof-of-concept is a critical step for the development of any oncology therapeutic. However, the reality is that the currently available models are not representative of the unique biology seen in tumors driven by rare genomic alterations like NRG1 fusions and are often not wide ranging enough to explore the tumor-agnostic hypothesis. Collaborations to develop targeted preclinical models and investigative tools for each driver alteration across multiple tumor types and genomic variations will be critical for appropriately assessing the potential of precision oncology therapeutics.
Our team and tools are coming together, and we look forward to sharing our preclinical data as well as insights we’ve gained along the way through upcoming conferences and publications. We hope you’ll stay tuned, and also that you’ll get in touch – we’re always on the lookout for innovative collaborators and trailblazers to join us, and we’ve got our eyes on many more summits to come.