Boston-based Berg has spent the last six years perfecting an artificial intelligence platform that may soon crack the cancer code.
Could we be just two or three years away from curing some forms of cancer? Niven Narain, the president of Berg, a small Boston-based biotech firm, says that may very well be the case.
With funding from billionaire real-estate tycoon Carl Berg as well as from Mitch Gray, Narain, a clinical scientist by training, and his small army of scientists, technicians, and programmers, have spent the last six years perfecting and testing an artificial intelligence platform that he believes could soon crack the cancer code, in addition to discovering valuable information about a variety of other terrible diseases, including Parkinson’s.
Thanks to partnerships formed with universities, hospitals, and even the U.S. Department of Defense, Berg and its supercomputers have been able to analyze thousands of patient records and tissue samples to find possible new drug targets and biomarkers.
All this data crunching has led to the development of Berg’s first drug, BPM 31510, which is in clinical trials. The drug acts by essentially reprogramming the metabolism of cancer cells, re-teaching them to undergo apoptosis, or cell death. In doing so, the cancer cells die off naturally, without the need for harmful and expensive chemotherapy.
So far, Berg has concentrated most of its resources on prostate cancer, given the large amount of data available on the disease. But thanks to recently announced partnerships, the firm is now building a new model targeting pancreatic cancer, which is one of the deadliest forms of cancers with a survivorship rate of only 7%.
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