The Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund awarded a $2 million Life Science Startup Catalyst grant to SYGNOMICS, a personalized precision oncology startup that helps oncologists improve patient outcomes by accurately predicting each patient’s risk of disease progression and identifying specific therapies that could be effective against their cancer.

“This funding is vital to help us advance and deliver personalized precision oncology solutions. We are grateful to CARE for this award.”

Nitin Baliga, Ph.D., the principal investigator of the CARE grant and co-founder and chief science officer of SYGNOMICS, a spin-out from the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB).

“This grant will help us accelerate our product development and clinical trial partnerships to support more oncologists and patients and address our large target market segment at the intersection of cancer genomic testing-based therapy selection ($1.4B), cancer biomarker market ($28.2B by 2026), and the real-world evidence market ($2B by 2027).”

Ashutosh Tiwary, co-founder and CEO of SYGNOMICS.

Currently, oncologists rely on limited information from mutation-based genomic testing of a patient’s tumor biopsy to inform the severity of their patient’s disease and select treatment options for them. While these tests generate gene-expression data, unfortunately, current testing providers and oncologists do not fully utilize this information to improve the accuracy of predicting the risk of disease progression and selecting appropriate therapies matched to the characteristics of an individual patient’s cancer. Using patented systems-biology-based network analysis of the patient’s RNA sequence data, Sygnomics identifies specific disease pathways driving their cancer, which can then be used to (a) accurately predict the risk of disease progression, (b) recommend therapies that might help, and (c) identify therapies that are unlikely to help the patient. Delivered as a Sygnomics companion Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) report to existing genomic testing for each patient, this helps oncologists improve patient outcomes. Using real-world evidence (RWE) generated from oncologists treating patients, we will subsequently develop systems-biology-based biomarkers that can stratify patient populations with specific characteristics that may benefit from a specific therapy. These biomarkers can help pharmaceutical companies get existing drugs approved for new indications rapidly as well as improve outcome-based reimbursement for those drugs.

SYGNAL (SYstems Genetics Network AnaLysis) developed over a decade in Dr. Nitin Baliga’s lab at ISB and published in leading peer-reviewed journals, is the foundational technology for Sygnomics. Founded in December 2020 by Nitin and Ashutosh Tiwary, the Sygnomics team has a strong background in the science (computational biology), its clinical application (precision oncology), the delivery technology (software and cloud services), and serial entrepreneurship (in software and biotechnology). Nitin’s team (including Dr. Serdar Turkarslan) developed the original technology at the Institute for Systems Biology where he is a professor and SVP, and they lead the scientific development at Sygnomics. After spending 30+ years in the technology industry, where Ashutosh founded, built, and sold two technology startups and built significant businesses in the technology industry, he joined ISB as an entrepreneur-in-residence and helped shape the technology, its clinical application, and its business model. Dr. Anoop Patel is a neurosurgical oncologist at Duke University treating glioblastoma patients in his clinical practice. At Sygnomics, he is responsible for all aspects of translational medicine and its clinical applications.

Thanks to the Washington State legislature’s 2022 commitment to improve the lives of Washingtonians through an investment in cancer research, CARE awarded 32 grants totaling nearly $31 million. SYGNOMICS was one of 16 life sciences start-up and development awards supporting early-stage companies and innovative researchers to translate promising research into the development of tools, devices, or therapeutics related to cancer. CARE announced 16 additional awards in the areas of population health, inclusion and diversity in clinical trials, and shared resources and infrastructure.

For more information about SYGNOMICS, visit the company’s website here.