International oncology, microbiome and drug discovery expertise synergize to guide unique early cancer detection startup
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Micronoma, the first cancer detection biotech company that uses signals from the tumor-related microbiome to diagnose cancer at an early stage with minimally-invasive liquid biopsy technology, today announced the formation of its scientific advisory board (SAB). The SAB is composed of industry experts and key opinion leaders for Micronoma’s key focus areas of microbiome, oncology platform and diagnostics.
The SAB will provide unique research perspectives and strategic direction as the company transitions toward commercializing a minimally-invasive liquid biopsy including sensitive microbiome-based assays to support physician decision making and empowering patients to ultimately prevent suffering. The SAB will work with Micronoma´s leadership team to provide scientific review and will be involved in strategic discussions for research and preclinical solutions, with the goal to accelerate diagnostic product development.
As liquid biopsy is fast becoming an important new direction for cancer diagnostics, early detection remains a challenge that the cancer microbiome may be able to solve. Micronoma’s promising research was published in Nature earlier this year and found unique microbial signatures in tissue and blood for most major types of cancer. The keen intellects and deep industry expertise of the SAB will collaborate with Micronoma to harness the outstanding potential of this innovative technology to improve earlier cancer diagnosis.
The Micronoma SAB is chaired by Martin J. Blaser, M.D. Dr. Blaser is a pioneer in researching the role of microbes and cancer development, including the roles of H. pylori in upper GI tract cancers. He holds the Henry Rutgers Chair of the Human Microbiome at Rutgers University, where he also serves as Professor of Medicine and Pathology, and as Director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine. Over the last 20 years, he has also been actively studying the relationship of the human microbiome with health and important diseases including asthma, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Elected to the National Academy of Medicine, Blaser authored, “Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues.” He holds 24 U.S. patents, and has authored more than 600 original articles.
The SAB includes three additional scientific virtuosos who have extensive industry experience and bring world-class international expertise.
Leena Das-Young, Pharm. D.
Leena is an accomplished C-suite biopharmaceutical executive with significant industry leadership experience in oncology, infectious disease, and liquid biopsy, as well as driving strategy, operations, and accelerating product development in complex disease and precision medicine settings. Her recent senior leadership experience includes executive roles at both Pfizer and Guardant Health. As head of late-phase oncology development at Pfizer, she led numerous oncology drugs for both solid and hematologic tumors through to approval including stewardship of six FDA breakthrough designations, three positive FDA advisory committee outcomes (ODAC), and extensive lifecycle management. She has also led numerous successful product launches including billion-dollar blockbusters.
Ravid Straussman, M.D., Ph.D.
Ravid is a Principal Investigator at the Weizmann Institute, in Rehovot, Israel. Ravid’s research focuses on understanding the roles of the tumor microenvironment and the tumor microbiome on resistance to cytotoxic, targeted, and immune mediated anti-cancer therapies. Using cutting-edge technologies, he is at the forefront of tumor microbiome science and its potential for translation for patient benefit.
Rob Knight, Ph.D.
Rob is the co-founder of Micronoma and co-inventor of Oncobiota™, Micronoma’s diagnostic platform and the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. He holds a 2019 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for his microbiome research and received the 2017 Massry Prize, often considered a predictor of the Nobel Prize. His scientific papers have been cited more than 225,000 times to date.
“Establishing this world-class scientific advisory board is just one of many ways Micronoma is bringing the best minds of academia and industry together to accelerate the development of this new microbiome innovation and its revolutionary applications toward creating the earliest cancer diagnostics in the field,” said Sandrine Miller-Montgomery, CEO of Micronoma. “We are excited about the blend of fundamental and applied science expertise, with a target on commercialization and to be working with this fantastic team under the leadership of Dr. Blaser. With their guidance, we look forward to reducing suffering for cancer patients and their families.”
“The creation of a Micronoma scientific advisory board is a great next step to unleashing microbiome capabilities into the world. For all of us, this is ultimately about the patient,” said Martin Blaser, chair of Micronoma’s scientific advisory board. “At this phase, we are focused on the potential to diagnose cancers at their earliest stages with the highest level of clinical accuracy. But make no mistake—the diagnostic implications of microbiome markers in liquid and tissue biopsies are endless, and Micronoma has cutting-edge advantages.”
To learn more about Micronoma’s esteemed scientific advisory board members, go to Micronoma.com.
Micronoma is the first cancer-detection company using signals from some of the most ancient matter in the world, circulating microbiome signatures, to empower clinicians to diagnose cancer at an early stage with minimally-invasive liquid biopsy technology. Micronoma was founded in 2019 by leaders in microbiome research with the goal of revolutionizing and advancing the practice of early cancer diagnostics and personalized treatment through sensitive microbiome techniques, ensuring that patients’ needs are identified and addressed by their clinicians at the earliest stage, for a better chance to live longer, healthier lives. The company is headquartered in San Diego, CA.