Sanger's research leveraged by a new company, Quotient Therapeutics, to create transformative medicines
Quotient’s Somatic Genomics platform reveals new approaches to treating disease based on the vast genetic variation present in the body’s trillions of cells
Quotient Therapeutics, underpinned by Sanger technology, and built by Flagship Pioneering, is unveiled today. The company focuses on the study of genetic variation at the cellular level to discover therapeutics informed by new links between genes and disease. Three of Quotient’s academic co-founders are Sanger Institute senior leaders – Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Dr Peter Campbell and Dr Iñigo Martincorena.
Flagship Pioneering has made an initial commitment of $50 million (£41 million) to advance the development of the company’s platform following two years of development at Flagship Labs and to pursue a pipeline of medicines across a wide range of therapeutic areas and modalities.
Its approach will enable the development of first-in-class drugs across a broad range of modalities and therapeutic areas, including immune disease, cardiometabolic disease, infectious disease, oncology, neurodegenerative disease, rare disease, and ageing.
Quotient’s Somatic Genomics platform uses proprietary single molecule, whole-genome sequencing technology to reveal the extensive variation encoded in the somatic genome at unprecedented resolution. It is underpinned by the Sanger Institute’s research on how tissues accumulate mutations, age and acquire diseases such as cancer. As these diseases may arise from mutations in a single cell, there is a need for ultra-accurate methods, such as the ones developed at the Sanger Institute, for the early detection of extremely small signals. These methods, in turn, help interpret how mutations subsequently evolve to either cause disease or mitigate it.
Built by Flagship scientists in collaboration with the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Texas Southwestern, this platform can study natural selection at the cellular level through four steps: phenotyping of cells from clinical tissue samples, isolation, single-cell genotyping, and computation. As a result, naturally selected genes, proteins, and pathways are identified as prospective targets for the development of transformative therapies intended to cure, prevent, or reverse disease.
“The assumption that we each have a single genome turns out to be off by a trillion-fold. All cells accumulate random genetic changes in their DNA, resulting in trillions of unique genomes in the body. Some genetic changes make a cell resistant or vulnerable to disease, while others can cause disease. We started Quotient to study the natural genetics library inside every tissue, discover gene variants that are beneficial, neutral, or disease-causing, and to harness that knowledge to develop the medicines of tomorrow.”
Dr Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Quotient Therapeutics and General Partner, Flagship Pioneering
“At Quotient, we’re inspired by the maxim that ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’. Our Somatic Genomics platform measures genetic changes underlying the evolution of cells in the body to make sense of disease, illuminating the path to a wide range of potentially curative medicines. Already, we’ve created the world’s largest somatic genomes dataset, demonstrated the applicability of our platform to multiple therapeutic areas, and translated our genetic discoveries into drug discoveries.”
Dr Jacob Rubens, Co-Founder and President of Quotient Therapeutics and Origination Partner, Flagship Pioneering
“In the cells of the body of just one healthy middle-aged person every letter of DNA code in the human genome has been mutated tens of millions of times. Quotient will use its bespoke DNA sequencing technologies to read the outcomes of this extraordinary panoply of natural experiments that takes place in all of us, revealing mutated genes that may cause or protect against a range of human diseases, and thus directing us to a new generation of targets against which future therapeutics will be developed to treat patients.”
Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Academic Co-Founder at Quotient Therapeutics and group leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute
“At Sanger, we can examine early signals of somatic mutations at an unprecedented level of detail. This, combined with Quotient’s ambition to use this technology for accelerated drug discovery is a great example of how great science underpins better and improved therapeutics for all.”
Dr Peter Campbell, Co-Founder at Quotient Therapeutics and Head of the Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute
“Quotient has a world-class team, well placed to leverage the emerging biological paradigm of somatic mosaicism as a response to disease pushing the frontiers of medicine. Sanger is committed, through commercialising and licensing our technologies, to accelerate the impact of our research, for the benefit of patients.”
Dr Gary Dillon, Senior Business Developer at the Wellcome Sanger Institute
Academic co-founders of Quotient include Professor Sir Mike Stratton, MD, PhD, Inigo Martincorena, PhD, and Peter Campbell, PhD, from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Hao Zhu, MD, from University of Texas Southwestern. In addition to von Geoffrey Maltzahn, Ph.D and Jacob Rubens, Ph.D, Quotient is led by Scott Hayton, Ph.D., as Acting Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Fox, M.D., MPH, as Senior Vice President, Head of Genetics and Target Discovery, and Simon Brunner, Ph.D., as Co-Founder and Head of Platform. Quotient is co-located in Cambridge, MA and Cambridge, UK with research facilities in both cities.
To learn more about Quotient Therapeutics visit: https://quotient-tx.com/
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