Target discovery is one of our core skills, allowing the selection of suitable target molecules for cancer and other diseases. Diverse influences may drive such target structures to be unusually activated or mutated, or bring about a gene fusion encoding a new target. Such targets may accumulate in certain tumor types, or in individual patients. Molecular data sets from NGS are an integral resource for target discovery. Our scientists scan thousands of sequencing data sets generated from various tumors and healthy tissues. Comparative analyses allow us to assign highly specific targets to distinct tumor entities or particular stages of disease.
Selected targets are confirmed by independent methods (e.g., qPCR, proteomics), and the biological and cellular functions are investigated. An important step for clinical application is the development of suited assays for the determination of the target structures, e.g. in tissue sections or body fluids. These assays can then be used for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of patients’ response to therapy. We compile our findings into comprehensive target and biomarker profiles, building a powerful toolbox for the development of new immunotherapy approaches.