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Ideaya Biosciences, Broad Institute Partner on Synthetic Lethality-Based Cancer Drug Discovery

NEW YORK – Ideaya Biosciences on Thursday announced that it had partnered with the Sellers Laboratory at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to generate target and biomarker discoveries for the treatment of patients with ovarian and breast cancers.

Specifically, the partnership will advance Ideaya's synthetic lethality-based approach to developing small molecule inhibitors against cancer targets. Synthetic lethality, which the company says represents an emerging class of precision medicine targets, refers to the loss of function of two genes that contribute to cancer cell death together, but would not do so on their own.

To help Ideaya achieve these synthetic lethality-based discoveries, the Broad Institute's Sellers Lab will bring to the partnership its CRISPR paralog screening platform, which will be used to evaluate functionally redundant paralogous genes across subtypes of ovarian cancer. Identifying these paralogous genes, in turn, will allow Ideaya to home in on synthetic lethality-based targets and biomarkers.

The collaboration will also specifically inform patient selection for Ideaya's existing synthetic lethality program targeting PARG. The Broad Institute will evaluate paralog CRISPR knockdown in selected cell lines treated with PARG inhibitors to better identify which breast and ovarian cancer patients may benefit from PARG-inhibiting treatment.

Additionally, Ideaya has joined the Broad Institute's Cancer Dependency Map (DepMap) consortium, which Ideaya says will enhance its bioinformatics and cell-based screening efforts for its synthetic lethality programs.

"Our lab has developed large-scale screening approaches to identify and validate novel synthetic lethal interactions," William Sellers, leader of the Broad Institute's Sellers Lab and member of Ideaya's scientific advisory board said in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with Ideaya to translate this research for the discovery of potential patient-selection biomarkers and cancer therapeutics."

Beyond its collaboration with the Broad Institute, Ideaya has also recently collaborated with the University of California San Diego to advance its synthetic lethality discovery programs. For three such programs in development, Ideaya has entered a strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. Other programs, however, including the PARG-targeting program, remain wholly owned by Ideaya.