Lantern Phar­ma charts course for IPO with AI plat­form that shines light on failed can­cer drugs

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence — the cure-all for the pesky process of mak­ing a ther­a­peu­tic, in­clud­ing da­ta min­ing, drug dis­cov­ery, op­ti­mal drug de­liv­ery and ad­dress­able pa­tient pop­u­la­tion — is be­ing em­ployed by yet an­oth­er biotech: Lantern Phar­ma.

The com­pa­ny, which us­es its AI plat­form to iden­ti­fy pa­tients that could ben­e­fit from its tar­get­ed on­col­o­gy ther­a­pies, on Thurs­day un­veiled plans to make its pub­lic de­but in an up to $29 mil­lion IPO.

Found­ed in 2013, Lantern’s pipeline en­com­pass­es small mol­e­cules that oth­ers have tried but failed to de­vel­op in­to an ap­proved drug, as well as new com­pounds. The Dal­las-based com­pa­ny has two drugs in the clin­ic: LP-100 and LP-300, which ini­tial­ly showed promise but failed to pass muster in late-stage stud­ies.

The fail­ures can be at­trib­uted to a “lack of pa­tient strat­i­fi­ca­tion dri­ven by an in­abil­i­ty to de­vel­op bio­mark­er-dri­ven, pre­ci­sion on­col­o­gy tri­als,” Lantern sug­gest­ed in the SEC fil­ing, in­di­cat­ing its AI ca­pa­bil­i­ties could re­verse the com­pounds’ for­tunes.

Source: Lantern Phar­ma, 2020

Click on the im­age to see the full-sized ver­sion

Tra­di­tion­al drug de­vel­op­ment is com­plex, ex­pen­sive, pro­tract­ed and comes with lousy odds of suc­cess — so em­ploy­ing da­ta-heavy strate­gies to stream­line the process is in­tu­itive, giv­en ad­vances in ge­nomics and ge­net­i­cal­ly-dri­ven dis­eases, such as can­cer.

Pan­na Shar­ma

The com­pa­ny’s own AI plat­form, called RADR, pars­es through a wide ar­ray of sources in­clud­ing tran­scrip­tome se­quenc­ing and gene ex­pres­sion (RNA) stud­ies, drug sen­si­tiv­i­ty da­ta, mu­ta­tion and tu­mor type and stage da­ta as well as pa­tient da­ta (age, sex, race/eth­nic­i­ty, drug treat­ment his­to­ry) that are dei­den­ti­fied and In­sti­tu­tion­al Re­view Board (IRB) com­pli­ant to make de­ter­mi­na­tions.

The com­pa­ny, which as of De­cem­ber em­ployed a to­tal of four full-time and three part-time em­ploy­ees, plans to list on the Nas­daq un­der the sym­bol $LTRN. Com­pa­ny chief Pan­na Shar­ma pre­vi­ous­ly served as CEO of DNA-based can­cer di­ag­nos­tics com­pa­ny Can­cer Ge­net­ics.

Dan Skovronsky, Eli Lilly CSO

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Donald Trump and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, before boarding Marine One (Getty Images)

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Athira raised $204 million for its IPO after pricing shares at $17 apiece, the high-point of its expected range. Initially pegging $100 million in financing, Athira said it offered 12 million total shares and will trade under the ticker $ATHA.

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Albert Bourla (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

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Stronger to­geth­er? Boehringer and Mi­rati team to put first KRAS-KRAS com­bo in the clin­ic

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