Why Cancer? Why Us? Why Now?

Oct 10, 2021

By Tushar Pandey, Joseph Peterson, John Cole

Most of us have experienced the pain of a friend or family member’s cancer diagnosis and treatment in our lives. The process of diagnosis, treatment and monitoring — and the resulting uncertainty — has a debilitating impact.

At SimBioSys, we are blessed to be able to go into work to address this problem –  both incredibly personal and could have such a significant impact on humanity.

With the close of our Series A round, we have reached a significant milestone in our journey.  A signal to the market that SimBioSys is onto something really special and a responsibility to ensure our work has an impact of millions of patients in the future.

We founded SimBioSys on three principles:

  1. Precision medicine remains imprecise
  2. Precision medicine needs to be made available to all
  3. Simulation techniques can and will evolve healthcare

As an organization, we’ve always rallied around the Google Maps analogy — the desire to eliminate uncertainty in any journey we take, and the need to know everything from our ETA to traffic conditions before we travel. We believe Cancer is the most significant journey for any patient, their family, and their cancer care team.

Before navigation systems like Google Maps become part and parcel of our lives, extensive foundational work needed to be done. Today, the field of precision medicine finds itself in a similar state — foundations have been laid with decades of research and innovation in focused areas continues. The missing piece is to bring it all together and make it available to all.

Our work at SimBioSys represents a convergence of foundational technologies and research developed and performed by many brilliant minds ranging from imaging to genomics, to drug development. Our homage to them is to ensure their work makes the finish line — where cancer care is no longer a trial-and-error approach, and precision cancer care is available to all.

Working towards understanding cancer comprehensively with a bottom-up approach — what drives it?, what makes it variable from patient to patient?, how it evolves? and how it responds to therapy? — while ambitious and not en vogue – is scientifically sound and is desperately needed to complement the ongoing efforts. The mechanisms we model, such as drug delivery, metabolism, and spatial heterogeneity have been known for decades, but have yet to be incorporated into clinical decision making. We are uniquely positioned to make this a reality through TumorScope®. A platform that brings together data for a patient at multiple scales, to capture the manifestation of tumor biology is what is needed to empower clinicians to treat a patient as an individual.

We believe that for precision medicine to deliver on its promise and for us to deliver on ours, our guiding principles and approach must be inclusive. Leveling the playing field for doctors in rural areas and third world countries where state-of-the-art testing approaches may not be available is paramount. To not just focus on treating cancer in advanced stages but in early stages where cure will lead to better outcomes. To focus on the patient experience just as much as clinical decision making.

Collectively, we are incredibly proud and humbled to be working alongside a stellar and diverse team, innovating at an unprecedented pace with people who don’t consider this just a job – who consider it personal. Blessed to have amazing collaborators across the country who believe in the technology and can’t wait to use TumorScope for their patients. And now, an exceptional group of investors who have unwavering conviction in our team and the experience of guiding companies at our stage to success.

This is key milestone for the company, but not the time to celebrate. Another 1.8 million in the US will be diagnosed with this disease in 2021. A lot more work needs to be done.

Here We Go!

 

TumorScope™ Breast

SimBioSys TumorScope™ currently aids the identification of the safest and most efficacious drug regimens for breast cancer patients.

It provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of a patient’s potential response to therapy, generated with a 3D computational model incorporating previously acquired diagnostic data.

The results from TumorScope™ are intended to be used in conjunction with the oncologist’s professional judgment, patient’s clinical history, symptoms, and other diagnostic tests.

With hundreds of retrospective patients validated, our results speak for themselves – a 95% correlation between simulated final volume and actual clinical volume post-therapy.

The Future
TumorScope™ Brain

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Mouth/Throat

Please Stay Tuned

TumorScope™ Lung

SimBioSys is developing TumorScope™ Lung, with the goal of having a positive impact on quality of life, clinical decision-making, and healthcare costs associated with lung cancer.


Though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, it is amongst the few solid tumors for which immunotherapeutics have shown great promise.


The structure of lung tissue is dissimilar to that of other tissues we have studied, as the lungs are highly vascularized, oxygenated, and composed of numerous branching sets of airways.


These factors facilitate the need for accurate 3D models of the lung tumor microenvironment, and require nuanced optimization of our image analysis and segmentation methods.

The Future
TumorScope™ Bladder

Accounting for approximately 81,000 new cases in the US each year, bladder cancer is the sixth most-frequently diagnosed solid tumor.

The primary goal of neoadjuvant chemo for advanced bladder cancer is not to enable bladder-conserving treatment, but to downstage the tumor before radical cystectomy.

Bladder cancer staging is strongly dependent on the cancer’s invasion into the bladder wall and surrounding perivesical tissue.

Because of this, the SimBioSys TumorScope™ is poised to offer healthcare providers new methods to predict the degree of downstaging under different treatment regimens, and thereby optimize therapy for patients.

The Future
TumorScope™ Prostate

Affecting approximately 165,000 men in the United States each year, prostate cancers tend to occur in older men, and are often slow to progress.

As a result, management of the disease frequently includes watchful waiting and active surveillance.

SimBioSys TumorScope™ is capable of predicting tumor growth and progression, both with and without intervention.

There exists an obvious application in weighing the risks and benefits of less aggressive approaches to prostate cancer management.

The Future
TumorScope™ Ovary

The “silent killer”, early stage ovarian cancer often presents with symptoms similar to those of other common gynecological or gastroenterological issues.

Approximately 70% of epithelial ovarian cancers are not diagnosed until stage III or IV.

Ovarian cancer represents a natural next step for SimBioSys, allowing us to leverage the knowledge and modeling expertise we’ve accumulated.

This will allow us to target a cancer with high morbidity and mortality, for which neoadjuvant therapy is becoming an increasingly important option.

The Future
TumorScope™ Colon

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Skin

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Kidney

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Liver

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Uterus

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Thyroid

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Pancreas

Please Stay Tuned

The Future
TumorScope™ Esophagus

Please Stay Tuned

Tumor Microenvironment
Modeling

The tumor microenvironment is understood as a complex space where cancer cells adapt their metabolic behavior, competing and cooperating with nearby healthy cells in order to grow.

Understanding the complex ways in which cancer cells interact with other nearby cell types—competing for some resources, sharing others, and eliciting molecular signals that reshape their surroundings—is critical for understanding tumor progression and response to therapy.

SimBioSys TumorScope™ offers a computational window to these interactions, enabling patients and healthcare providers to explore how different treatment regimens can influence tumor response, and ultimately, patient survival.

Virtual Trials

The logistical and financial requirements of clinical drug trials are burdensome in the context of developing novel cancer therapeutics.

Additionally, there is inherent risk for the participants of these trials, both human and animal.

Building on the aforementioned technology, SimBioSys plans to create software to virtually test the efficacy of a drug on our library of patients.

The goal is to use this technology for planning and selecting the most appropriate cohorts, using computational methods, before a trial begins.

Additionally, this technology will be used for testing the effects of various forms of a drug on virtual patients, as opposed to humans or animals.

This technology will provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying treatment non-response, and will aid in drug development efforts.

Drug Delivery Modeling

After the SimBioSys platform has been extended to nearly the full range of solid mass tumors, pharmaceutical companies will be able to test their numerous therapies against a range of simulated tumors to discover new uses and delivery methods for drugs.

Studies show a salient relationship between sub-optimal drug delivery and acquired drug-resistance, leading to increased risk of mortality.

TumorScope™ provides an opportunity to reduce the likelihood of this occurrence.

Tushar Pandey
Chief Executive Officer MBA University of Chicago, BS Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

With a passion to support the fight against cancer, Tushar’s focus is to ensure the company delivers on its mission to empower precision medicine. In his prior role as VP of Decision Support at Strata Decision Technology, he worked
with over 150 health systems across the country including Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, MD Anderson, Intermountain Healthcare, Dana Farber among others. Under his leadership, Strata Decision received the prestigious “Best in
KLAS” recognition for five consecutive years. With over a decade of healthcare experience, Tushar has been one of the key thought leaders in the healthcare analytics and cost of care space.

Joseph R. Peterson
Chief Technical Officer PhD Chemistry University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Driven by an interest in computing, Joseph’s 10 years of scientific research has spanned investigating combustion and explosion, to analyzing the role of the environment on microbes’ behavior, to examining individual differences in
breast tumors. He is passionate about developing software for the health and scientific R&D sectors. His goal as Chief Technical Officer at SimBioSys, Inc. is not merely to develop enterprise technologies that enable new
clinical action, but to foster lasting relationships between key players in cancer treatment.

John A. Cole, Jr.
Chief Scientific Officer PhD Physics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

John is a biophysicist specializing in stochastic models and systems biology. Equally comfortable with pencil-and-paper mathematical modeling and high-performance computational simulation, John’s “whatever works” approach to problem
solving and friendly, collaborative demeanor has allowed him to contribute significantly to a range of projects in basic science and health. As Chief Science Officer of SimBioSys, Inc., he is excited to extend this line of research
to enable transformative cancer treatment.

Tyler Earnest
Director of Computational Medicine PhD Physics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tyler has a long history of mathematical modeling as applied to biological systems. He is also well-versed in software development, 3D visualization, and GPU programming as applied to computational biology. His primary focus is on
conceiving, constructing, and validating new cancer and drug models.

Michael Hallock
Director of Technology Development MS Bioinformatics University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Michael has more than 10 years of experience in the software development and information technology fields. He has extensive experience developing software for scientific computing, high performance computing, and cloud computing.
He applies his extensive knowledge to work on advanced analytics software, focusing on back-end (database, server/client communication, database development, IT infrastructure, etc.) technologies, as well as working closely with
full stack developers. Additionally, he will provide software support for scientific development.

Anu Antony,
MD, MPH, MBA, FACS
Chief Medical Officer MBA Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, MPH Harvard School of Public Health, MD University of North
Carolina- Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer

Dr. Antony is a Harvard, Stanford, and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center-trained surgeon with 20 years of experience in breast cancer, including multiple leadership positions in Chicago as Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at Rush University, Co-Director of the Breast Cancer Service Line, and Chief of Breast Reconstruction at the Rush University Cancer Center, and Vice-Chair of the Breast Cancer Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital and Health Services. She is passionate about innovation in precision oncology and commercializing cutting-edge technology to bring it directly into the hands of physicians and patients. Her interest in science and medicine began at UNC-Chapel Hill where she graduated with distinction in Chemistry. After graduating with honors at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, she became intrigued with medical device innovation during her general surgery and plastic surgery training in silicon valley at Stanford University Medical Center. She furthered her education and training during an oncologic reconstructive surgery fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a Masters in Biostatistics and Clinical Outcomes at the Harvard School of Public Health, and an additional research fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Recognizing the benefits of dovetailing science, medicine, and business, she completed an MBA at the Northwestern-Kellogg School of Management. Dr. Antony has worked in government and private sectors where she actively treated cancer patients, co-led a multimillion dollar NIH program grant as co-PI studying stem cells in a primate model, actively publishes, lectures nationally and internationally, and has served as Chair and President of several regional and national professional societies and conferences.

Tim Foley
Vice President, Business Development MBA, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University with emphasis on Applied Economics and Strategy, Execution, and Valuation

Charged with partnering initiatives to further our mission of empowering precision cancer care, Tim has joined as our VP of Business Development and comes armed with over 20 years in healthcare BD having led transaction teams at both Takeda and Astellas. Tim’s most recent focus is on helping health tech startups navigate the partnering paradigm. Cancer has had a large impact on his personal life leaving him impassioned to unlock new-generation solutions aimed at radically improving outcomes for tomorrow’s patients.

Tricia Carrigan,
PhD SVP, Precision Medicine PhD

Dr. Tricia Carrigan is an accomplished Biopharmaceutical and Diagnostic Executive with over 24 years of experience across the biomarker discovery- companion diagnostic-drug development and commercialization spectrum. She specializes in Companion Diagnostics (CDx) Strategy & Commercialization, drug development programs, early and late stage drug licensing, Oncology, Women’s Health, Cardiovascular, and Hematology. She has an international experience in assay implementation/development for Phase I-III trials, external innovation and business development/partnering in EU and Asia- Pacific markets.

Eduardo Braun, MD
Head of Clinical Affairs
MD, Rio de Janeiro School of Medicine, RUSH University Medical Center
Eduardo Braun, MD earned his medical degree at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro School of Medicine. He completed his Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology, and his Residency in Internal Medicine at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago. He is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology.
Dr. Braun actively participates in lung cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma research and his work has been published. He is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Dr. Braun practices in Valparaiso, Chesterton, Hobart and Westville, Indiana.

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SimBioSys is providing solutions for clinicians, patients, researchers and pharmaceutical companies. If you are interested in our product & services, or would like to collaborate, please contact us using the form below or email us at contact@simbiosys.com.

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