Berg Partners with Sanofi Pasteur to Research Flu Vaccine Biomarkers

October 31, 2017
Berg Partners with Sanofi Pasteur to Research Flu Vaccine Biomarkers
Berg will use its Interrogative Biology® platform to identify potential biomarkers of Sanofi Pasteur seasonal influenza vaccine performance. [Source:

Berg said it will apply its Interrogative Biology® platform to improve outcomes of Sanofi Pasteur seasonal influenza vaccines by generating and modeling data for assessing potential biomarkers, through a research collaboration whose value was not disclosed.

In addition to identifying biomarkers, Berg said, the partnership with Sanofi’s vaccines business aims to uncover hidden patient-centered molecular mechanisms to enhance efficacy, expand the breadth of strains vaccines can cover, and extend their durability over time.

Berg’s Interrogative Biology uses bAIcis® artificial intelligence technology to enable analysis of high throughput molecular and clinical data, in order to extract actionable insights from disparate and large data sets. Berg has employed AI in working to discover novel predictive and prognostic biomarkers in oncology, neurology and diabetes.

“Berg Interrogative Biology includes multi-omic profiling of samples from individuals participating in a longitudinal study with Sanofi Pasteur licensed vaccines and subsequent use of our bAIcis artificial intelligence tool, with the aim to identify molecular signatures and potential biomarkers indicative of breadth and durability of the Influenza vaccine immunological response,” Niven R. Narain, Berg co-founder, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Designed to combine systems biology and artificial intelligence, the Interrogative Biology platform is designed to collects both healthy and disease-state patient samples for processing by Berg’s high throughput mass spectrometer workflow. The platform carries out analysis of the genome, proteome, lipidome and metabolome, and also looks at mitochondrial function, oxidative states, and ATP production to examine cell functioning. 

That process, according to Berg, produces trillions of data points from a single sample—data that is then combined with patient clinical information and analyzed by bAIcis.

Berg is also using Interrogative Biology to drive development of its own drug candidates, including its lead molecule BPM 31510, designed to treat both topical and solid tumor forms of cancer—as well as to pursue novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease; and identify first-in-class molecules for treating metabolic disease that have progressed beyond proof of concept stage.

The collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur is Berg’s second with a drug developer to be announced in the past three months. In August, AstraZeneca agreed to team up with Berg to identify and assess novel targets and therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, through a partnership whose value was not disclosed. AstraZeneca agreed to initially provide Berg with its curated library of CNS-optimized fragments, which Berg agreed in turn to use toward discovering drug candidates.