Eisai's H3 Bio leans on bioinformatics as cancer researcher expands

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H3 Biomedicine has touted the doubling of its research space in Cambridge, MA, and noted that its staff is expected to undergo equivalent growth. Meanwhile, the group highlighted the work of its bioinformatics pros to mine data in pursuit of new therapies for cancer.

A unit of the Japanese drugmaker Eisai, H3 Biomedicine credited the growth to the work of its research crew that includes bioinformatics experts who slice and dice data from cancer genomes. This helps shine light on mutations that are suspected of steering tumor growth and can be targeted with new drugs. H3 has worked with partners such as Compendia Biosciences, a cancer bioinformatics outfit, to pave the way to such discoveries.

Eisai launched H3 Biomedicine in 2011 and pledged to pump $200 million into the unit as the drugmaker sought a wealth of targeted drug candidates against cancer. The group recently expanded into 48,000 square feet of space in the biotech-heavy hub of Cambridge and plans to grow its staff to 75 people by the end of 2013. Its efforts thus far have brought a lead program with candidates against the SF3B1 gene, mutations of which are suspected of promoting blood-related cancers.

"While we remain an early-stage, research-focused company, our rapid growth this year marks a significant step toward developing novel oncology drug candidates, and, ultimately, expediting the delivery of new therapies to the patients who need them," said Dr. Markus Warmuth, H3's president and CEO, in a statement.

- here's the release

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