Scipher Applies Spectra™ Platform to Discover Drugs

09 May 2021 | Sunday | News

Scipher Medicine, a precision immunology company matching patients with the most effective therapy, today announced the launch of Scipher Therapeutics, focused on discovering new targets and drugs for patients not responding to approved therapies in the market.

  • Leverages large genomic database from Scipher’s testing business.
  • Proven Spectra™ platform brings precision therapeutics to autoimmune diseases.
  • Program commercialized through pharma partnerships.


Scipher Medicine is leveraging its proprietary Spectra™ platform and rich clinico-genomic data from its molecular diagnostic testing business, to develop new-in-class precision therapeutics in autoimmune diseases targeting specific patient populations with high response rates. Biopharma industry veteran, CTO and Head of Therapeutics at Scipher Medicine, Slava Akmaev, Ph.D., has been appointed to lead the new program.

“Our breakthrough approach combines extensive patient-level molecular data and our proprietary Spectra platform, powered by the state-of-the-art AI algorithms,” said Akmaev, “Our methodology was developed to explain the complex biology of autoimmune diseases and is ideal for discovering novel therapeutic targets with the potential to treat patient subpopulations, including those not responding to currently available therapies.”

Autoimmune diseases are marred with low drug response rates, mainly due to an inability to understand patient disease biology. For example, the response rate for the largest selling drug class in the world, TNFi therapy, is below 40%. Spectra has already been applied to successfully develop blood-based biomarkers to predict response in patients to approved anti-TNF drugs in autoimmune diseases. Scipher is now deploying the platform to discover novel therapies targeting specific cohort of patients that can be identified through similar biomarkers. 

“We have seen in oncology how precision medicine has transformed drug discovery and made the development process faster, more cost-effective, and predictable to the benefit of patients,” said Alif Saleh, CEO of Scipher Medicine. “Spectra brings the same capabilities to autoimmune diseases which have eluded the industry for decades.”

“In an industry seeking novel targets for underserved patients, Scipher’s AI platform stands out as one that repeatedly works,” said John Baldoni, Ph.D., Advisor to Scipher Therapeutics and former SVP of Platform Technology and Science at GSK.  "Its proven ability to discover drug targets specific to individual patients makes it unique in the industry.”

Scipher Medicine’s recent partnership with Galapagos to develop a suite of novel drug targets discovered by Spectra is the first of many pharma and biotech partnerships to be rolled out near term.


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