Alacris Theranostics GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Alacris develops comprehensive computational models of diseases and uses these models of disease in conjunction with next generation sequencing in order to identify individualised therapies for patients based on their genetic blueprint. The company also uses these technologies to help pharmaceutical partners stratify patients for their clinical trials. Alacris has an exclusive worldwide commercial license for the computational modeling of diseased tissues using the Pybios technology from MPG. The company also operates the first next generation sequencing center in Europe approved for clinical operations. Because Alacris is a spin-out of the Lehrach lab of the MPG many of the personnel at the MPG also serve in a consulting role to the company and in this role will be providing their expertise to the project on the company's behalf.
Previous experience and profile of staff members
Dr. Bodo Lange has over 20 years of international research experience in the fields of cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of Bonn, Germany; University of Kent, UK; University of Manchester UK; Kansai Research Institute, Kobe, Japan. EMBL Heidelberg, Germany. He has been a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin for 7 years. As a project coordinator he was leading the German research consortium MUTANOM, comprising 10 research groups analyzing the consequence of cancer mutations on a Systems Biology level. As a head of biology at Alacris he will be in charge of validation and optimisation of predictive drug treatment models and for cancer biomarker discovery and validation. Dr. Alexander Kühn received his degree at the Free University in Berlin studying the functional properties of pathway development in the model organism Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and applying modelling techniques to elucidate pathway interactions in this organism. For the past two years Dr. Kühn has been focused on applying novel molecular modelling technologies in clinical applications. Dr. Kühn is currently focused on extending and refining cancer models and on developing simulations to identify appropriate therapies based on these models. In this project Alacris will work in collaboration with partners like IBM, Intel, Microsoft and others to optimize disease models in the areas of storage, computational performance, and in the development of new modelling and machine learning approaches. The models developed by Alacris will be tuned to analyze the effects of specific drugs on patients and also to explore the interaction between the patient's genetic backgrounds and the drug effects.
Recent publications relevant to the project
1. Herwig R, Lehrach H. (2006) Expression profiling of drug response - from genes to pathways. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 8(3): 283-293.
2. Klipp E, Liebermeister W, Wierling C, Kowald A, Lehrach H and Herwig R (2009) Systems Biology - A Textbook, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim.
3. Wierling C, Herwig R and Lehrach H (2007) Resources, standards and tools for systems biology. Briefings in Functional Genomics and Proteomics 6(3):240-251. doi:10.1093/bfg /elm027
4. Wierling C (2006) PyBioS - ein Modellierungs- und Simulationssystem für komplexe biologische Prozesse. In Forschung und wissenschaftliches Rechnen. Beiträge zum Heinz-Billing Preis 2005 (Hrsg. K. Kremer, V. Macho), 69:53-71.