Lantern Pharma: A Game Changing Precision Medicine Initiative

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When the Precision Medicine Initiative was announced by President Obama in 2015, he said: “delivering the right treatments, at the right time, every time, to the right person.” As the next heralded breakthrough in healthcare, simply put it is the ultra-tailored therapy.

Personalization of therapy has always been a practice to a certain extent, however, the combination of technologies to generate patient-derived data, genomic medicine and computer science has added the PRECISION to make it personal.

This time in the Medness Focus edition we will talk about a young pharma company, Lantern Pharma, that could be a game changer in the field of precision medicine. How? Read on to know more!

Lantern Pharma: Personalizing the drug pipeline

Problem to address: Re-purposing of validated, de-risked clinical stage anti-cancer drugs that are discontinued for drug development

Reasons for failure of anti-cancer drugs in pipeline:

  • heterogeneity of cancers,
  • multidrug resistance,
  • inability of one drug to treat some but not all patients


  • Personalized precision drug programs using advanced genomics and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Repurposing of deserted late-stage clinical drugs that were successful in only a subset of patient population
  • AI- A proprietary machine learning algorithm called Rescue Algorithm for Drug Repurposing (RADR)
  • AI approach Connecting and Analyzing Clinical Trial and Patient Genomics Data to Identify relevant Biomarkers and predict favorable patient responders.

Step 1. Combine Clinical Trial Data with Lab genomic Analysis of Patient Samples

Step 2 a. Data Analysis from Clinical Trails and Patient Genomics 

Step 2 b.  Artificial Intelligence to connect the dots between drug candidates and best responders in a patient population

Step 3. Identify Biomarkers

Step 4. Identify Responders

Drug Pipeline:

  • Tavocept (LP-300) targeting Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Irofulven-1 (LP-100) targeting Hormone-refractory prostate cancer
  • Irofulven-2 (LP-184) targeting ovarian cancer


Opinions of Stakeholders:

“Within the next six years, the precision medicine market is expected to reach nearly $88 billion and has the potential to impact all cancer patients. Drug rescue and repurposing in oncology is a high-growth segment and expected to contribute to as much as 25 to 30 percent of new therapeutic approvals and significantly reduce development costs,” Arun Asaithambi (Co-founder and Director) said. (link)

“Lantern Pharma is leading a wave of innovation in cancer treatment that we believe will bring the best therapies to patients who are most likely to respond,” said Clay Heighten, M.D., founding partner of GPG Ventures. (link)

“We are thrilled to partner with Lantern in order to advance the clinical development of Irofulven, and to advance a new paradigm in cancer drug development by designing and conducting clinical trials around a targeted population of patients identified, via MPI’s diagnostic platform, as the patients most likely to respond to a given drug based on their tumor biology. said Professor Peter Buhl Jensen, M.D., CEO of Oncology Venture and MPI. (link)


“The more clinical and genomic data that is analyzed, the ‘smarter’ the AI becomes, which will lead to additional breakthroughs. We are very excited to assist Lantern in its pursuit to re-invent cancer drug development using advanced AI and genomics. This partnership accelerates the development of therapies at a faster and more efficient rate than ever before,” explains Anand A., Chief Executive Officer of Intuition Systems. (link)

Latest news: “Biotech Startup Lantern Pharma Raises $3.7M to Accelerate Cancer Drug Approval Process”

Who are the other players in the Precision Medicine Start-up market segment and where does Lantern stand?

We compiled a list of similar companies (in USA) who are working in the field of precision medicine and could have matching interests with Lantern (Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list and the opinions are based on the information available on the companies’ websites as on 05/05/2017)

Company name Target areas Competition for Lantern?
Syapse Precision medicine data platform for health providers Probably
GenomOncology Translating next generation sequencing data into actionable information Probably
 Centrillion Biosciences Genomics and DNA analyses Partially
4D Healthware Patient engagement software through connected-data approach Partially
Cellular Dynamics International Stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine Partially
NeoDiagnostix Combines advanced diagnostics with therapeutics, enabling clinicians plan treatment Partially
Translational Software Converting genomic data into actionable, relevant intelligence Partially
Advanced Cell Diagnostics Diagnostic tests for personalized medicine Unlikely
Epic Sciences Early cancer detection systems Unlikely
Ignyta New drug discovery efforts in oncology Unlikely
Eve Biomedical Low -cost gene sequencing equipment for medical applications Unlikely
Sctheranostics Drug Discovery efforts on Patient derived cells in cardiology Unlikely
Kuraoncology New drug discovery efforts in oncology Unlikely
Genoptix Specialized oncology diagnostic services Unlikely
Precipio Diagnostics Cancer diagnostics reference laboratory Unlikely
Population Diagnostics Develop personalized DNA-based diagnostics Unlikely
Blueprint Health Startup accelerator, and crowdsources genetic and clinical datasets Unlikely
Rosetta Genomics Discovery, the development and commercialization of diagnostic testing Unlikely
Everist Health A machine learning technique producing mathematical models for cardiac patients Unlikely
Microarrays Array-based technologies for biological research, detection and diagnostics, Unlikely
PHIGENIX Novel molecular therapeutics which target the immune system against cancer. Unlikely
Genomind Pharmacogenetic laboratory testing for psychiatry Unlikely
Permedly Connects doctors & personalized medicine solutions via a software platform Unlikely

Company website:

Available jobs

Concluding lines

Lantern’s approach will benefit not only those who are determined to be likely responders but also those patients who are deemed non-responders who will be reprieved from the costs, false hopes, and potential side effects of enduring a futile treatment. In addition, a lot of research dollars spent on the drug discovery efforts from the taxpayers’ money can be recovered by re-discovering their use in smaller subsets of patients.



Featured image source: Adam Simpson

GIF source:

Infographics: Created using



Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for news and information. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Copyright: The contents of Medness is the copyright of PhD Career Support Group for STEM PhDs (A US Non Profit 501(c)3 is an initiative of the alumni of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The primary aim of this group is to buildup NETWORK among scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.)

Abhinav is a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University and a Young Investigator Awardee from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. He is also the co-founder of PhD Career Support Group (CSG) for STEM PhDs and ClubSciWri

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