Tools4Patient, a company founded in 2013 and located in Gosselies (Belgium) is specialized in the development of multimodal companion diagnostics. This creative company recently met its first challenging milestone and thus delivered as planned its first proof of concept in neuropathic pain. Dominique Demolle, CEO, tells us more about this ambitious young company.
What is Tools4Patient’s core business?
D.D – Tools4Patient is focused on the development of next-generation companion diagnostics through multimodal approaches, as reflected by our company name; we would like our tools to be focused on “individual patient”. Consequently our main goal is to improve patient’s life by supporting physicians and pharmaceutical companies to identify the right drug for the right patient.
We are delighted to share our company vision and mission, not only with our scientific partners, but also with the financial ones. Indeed Tools4Patient is supported by a set of private investors (with whom we have completed our first fundraising in September 2014 and we are currently concluding the second round), and public funding (Grants from the Walloon Region through the “DGO6” and the intergovernmental organization “EUREKA” as well as Novallia support).
Why are you concentrating on pain treatments to start with?
D.D – Pain is a major issue in several therapeutic areas as it is very hard to quantify and to treat it. In addition, it is even more complex to develop new analgesics drugs. Our R&D program aims to improve some gaps in this area. As a result, we have just completed the Proof of Concept of our first tool during a clinical trial involving neuropathic pain. Consequently, the validation phase has just started including negotiation with the FDA. This first tool that in nature is still confidential would impact the way of conducting the clinical research in chronic pain and it will be derived in other therapeutic indications.
We are also running a project dedicated to cancer pain: the ONCOPAIN project. ONCOPAIN focuses on the development of a tool to profile patients suffering from Cancer-induced Bone pain (CIBP) and to address their needs in a fine-tuned way. The treatment of this disease is extremely problematic. Often a dull pain is present and gradually increasing in intensity with time, compromising the patient’s abilities to function and reducing the quality of life. Unfortunately drug developments in CIBP and the individual management of patients’ pain are exceedingly challenging and hard to achieve (while physicians claim the increasing unsatisfied needs daily expressed by their patients.)
“The medical community is quite destitute in front of certain cancer-induce pains and among them CIBP remain hard to control. This is thus very important to participate in a study that aims at creating predictions for pharmacological applications, on the basis of clinical observations”, says Prof. Marie-Elizabeth Faymonville, Head of the Algology Department of CHU de Liège
What is your approach?
We design and develop a multimodal screening platform that only retains and matches the most relevant patients’ features (for instance: disease history, history of treatment, type of pain, etc.) in order to predict accurately the patient potential responses to his/her treatment(s). To do so, we have set up close collaborations with some other Walloon companies such as Aepodia (clinical strategy and delivery of early drug and medical device development) and DNAlytics (predictive solutions as well as biomarkers identification) as well as with several hospitals and academic centers such as the Jules Bordet Institute with Prof. Lossignol (Brussels), ATC collaborating with the CHU of Liège, UCL (Woluwe), UZA (Antwerp),UZG (Gent) and neighboring country in France with centers like Marie Curie in Paris, Jean Perrin and the CIC in Clermont Ferrand, La Timone in Marseille and André Mignot in Versaille.
So this is basically tending to personalized medicine?
D.D – Absolutely! We make sure that we involve patients at every stage in the development of our tools, listening constantly to their needs and seeing them as critical players in the research process. Beyond designing new treatment paradigms to improve outcomes, Tools4Patient is willing to “reinforce” the link between the patients and his/her physicians this will facilitate the development of new drugs “targeting tailored therapy”. In the long run, we hope that our predictive tools will help each single patient to retrieve more accurate information about his/her condition so that his/her doctors will prescribe the optimal tailor-made treatment and enhance in such a way the quality of life.
What are the next steps for Tools4Patient ?
First of all we target the commercialization of our Company’s first chronic pain companion diagnostic for 2016 which has already sparked pharmaceutical companies interest. We are also very excited with the interest aroused by our R&D projects and that gives bird to new collaborative projects. We would like to expand our projects pipeline and tackle other chronic pain conditions as well as a whole range of therapeutic indications. As our R&D pipeline is growing we will hire additional staff soon and we will continue to expand our network. Currently we are a team of 6 employees plus a substantial network of consultants running the actuals projects and building the next ones.
More information on www.tools4patient.com
For more information about Tools4Patient’s 1st proof of concept delivery, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
+32 (0) 71 91 94 02