Celgene drops $13M on Presage's 3-D drug delivery platform

Celgene's ($CELG) $13 million investment in Presage Biosciences' cancer drug delivery platform is a major bet on something groundbreaking. The technology is the first of its kind, with the ability to compare treatments across separate sections of a tumor.

And in conducting simultaneous comparisons, the innovative platform could improve cancer treatment by helping caretakers find out more quickly what kind of drug works best.

The biotech giant has committed $5 million of the overall amount to research funding and $8 million in equity, which will allow the smaller company to grow substantially, according to a report in in-Pharma Technologist.

Presage's technology allows for the controlled delivery of cancer drugs to specific parts of a tumor, using a type of array that informs caretakers as to which treatments are more effective. By testing them at the same time but in different locations on the tumor, the array is designed to evaluate a patient's unique response to each drug.

The novel drug array works by transporting small doses of each compound through the skin and into a tumor, where the doses are delivered and analyzed three-dimensionally to precisely gauge their effect on cancer cells. The end result is a personalized treatment that caters to the specific character of a tumor and allows for a faster forecast of the most effective regimen.

What's more, the array might also help with the investigation of more experimental cancer drugs, as they could be safely tested and compared with those more widely used.

"Drug development is currently challenged by heavy reliance on in vitro test systems and animal xenografts of little relevance to individual patients," Thomas Daniel, Celgene's president of research and early development, said in a statement. "The Presage platform addresses this challenge, permitting rapid assessment of drug candidates and combinations in relevant models, with potential to base critical drug development decisions on in vivo response data."

- here's Presage's release
- and here's the in-Pharma Technologist story
- see our story in FierceBiotech for exclusive comments from president Nathan Caffo

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