Hackensack, NJ – July 26, 2021– Champions Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSBR), a leading global oncology technology solutions provider that is transforming drug discovery through innovative pharmacology, biomarker, and data platforms, announced today an expansion of its corporate strategy as they unveil their entry into the drug discovery and development space. Champions is organized as a dynamic ecosystem of business units centered around a world leading oncology research center that is based off a unique & proprietary set of data and experimental platforms. The corporate composition of the company includes three business units (1) the foundational Research Services Business, (2) the recently launched Research Software Business with its flagship product, Lumin Bioinformatics, and (3) the newly announced Discovery and Innovation Business.
The rollout of the discovery and innovation business is the natural evolution for Champions as it continues to unlock the value contained within the rare dataset that has been amassed over the past twelve years. The tumor bank, and the dataset that has been derived, are unique for several reasons. First, unlike most other tumor models used in research, Champions' PDX models are highly representative of tumors present within a clinical setting. Thus, the datasets established using Champions' models provide more accurate and relevant insights. Second, the approach of using a ‘living tumor bank' of PDX models provides for a perpetual source of tumor, enabling a continuous and deep level of characterization. Specifically, Champions' scientists can establish multiple drug response datasets from the same tumor or re-interrogate these tumors with newly approved drugs or drug combinations. This also allows for a full characterization of the molecular nature of these tumors using multiple analytical methods. As new technologies emerge or are optimized, such as proteomic analysis, it is also possible to acquire and integrate this new data into the existing dataset. Third, by leveraging a ‘living tumor bank' of PDX models, it is possible to manipulate these tumors and simulate important therapeutic or molecular scenarios that are otherwise unavailable in other tumor models.
To demonstrate the combined power of the Company's proprietary dataset and the full power of the analytical tools present within the Lumin Analytic Engine, Champions has built in-house computational target discovery expertise to identify and prioritize novel therapeutic targets. This approach relies heavily on AI and machine learning algorithms. Computational approaches have emerged as a central mechanism for target discovery in recent years, but often suffer from the use of incomplete or misleading datasets. Champions' computational approach leverages a more complete data set that is derived from tumor models with a more authentic tumor cell biology and heterogeneity. As a result, the computational teams at Champions can identify targets that are often overlooked or missed when using other datasets. The extensive pre-clinical platform available at Champions' research facilities also allows for a quick and efficient experimental validation.
The areas of focus for Champions' therapeutic target discovery include, amongst others, immune modulation, cell surface proteins for drug conjugates, and intracellular ligases and kinases that are required for tumor cell survival. Some of the targets that have been validated exploit the intact and complex metabolic, inflammatory and ubiquitin pathways, as well as a more representative global protein expression level, present within Champions' tumor models. Programs that have been established around these targets leverage various therapeutic modalities, including both small and large molecule approaches. The commercial strategy for each program will vary, and can include independent development, co-development, or out-licensing.
Ronnie Morris, MD, President and CEO, said "It's amazing to have reached the point where we see the full realization of our business model. As you know, the foundational core of the Champions business is the proprietary dataset which we have amassed over the last decade. On top of this core, we developed a set of market-leading technology-enabled platform services which fueled our becoming a fast growing & profitable company. Last year we released our software solution, Lumin Bioinformatics, which allows our customers a new way to access & search insights in our datasets. And now, we are excited to unveil discovery and innovation. The synergy of these three vibrant business units allows us to leverage our core in higher value and higher margin businesses that would accelerate our revenue and long-term profit growth."
"Drug discovery and development is the natural next step for Champions," said Michael Ritchie, PhD, MBA, Chief Commercial Officer at Champions Oncology. "We have established such a strong leadership position in delivering the highest quality of science over the years. When we coupled that with our unparalleled dataset and our newly built computational capabilities, we saw the potential to be transformative in drug development. I am amazed every day at what our drug discovery teams are delivering and look forward to seeing these programs mature towards the clinic."
About Champions Oncology
Champions Oncology is a technology-driven research organization that develops innovative therapeutics against cancer targets, offers groundbreaking research software as a service, and provides end-to-end R&D services to biopharma organizations. Champions Oncology is actively engaged in the transformation of drug discovery and development of oncology therapeutics. For more information, please visit www.ChampionsOncology.com.
Rachel Bunting, MS, MBA
Sr. Director, Head of Marketing