US-based twoXAR has collaborated with Stanford University School of Medicine’s Asian Liver Centre, in a bid to support research for identifying drug candidates targeting hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

As part of the partnership, the company will use its software-driven discovery platform to make disease-to-candidate predictions.

Researchers at the Asian Liver Centre will validate these candidates through preclinical studies.

HCC is a primary malignancy of the liver occuring predominantly in patients with underlying chronic liver disease, which is often caused by hepatitis B or C virus infection.

twoXAR co-founder and CEO Andrew Radin said: “New drugs in development for HCC primarily target tyrosine kinases, but they have demonstrated mixed success in clinical trials, suggesting a need for new therapies targeting a more diverse set of biomarkers.

"As part of the partnership, the company will use its software-driven discovery platform to make disease-to-candidate predictions."

“We are very pleased to be working with Dr. So and his colleagues at the Asian Liver Centre who are dedicated to improving outcomes for patients and raising awareness of chronic hepatitis B infection and its connection to liver cancer through efforts such as the JOINJADE initiative.”

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Algorithms developed by twoXAR will allow the company to find unanticipated associations between disease and drug candidates faster than wet lab-based approaches.

The company’s biomedical software platform evaluates massive public and datasets to identify and rank high probability disease-to-candidate matches, which can later on be used to prioritise existing candidates.

They can be used to perform targeted searches in addition to identifying new drug candidates for further preclinical and clinical testing.

Image: Hepatocellular carcinoma in an individual who was hepatitis C positive. Autopsy specimen. Photo: courtesy of Ed Uthman.