Verva’s Gene Expression Signature (GES) technology is an innovative and flexible diabetes drug discovery platform that has been validated by the identification and clinical advancement of Verva’s lead clinical product VVP808; an insulin sensitizer for use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The GES technology is novel in that it provides a high throughput, system-wide readout of efficacy from a cell based assay. This readout can be used to describe the health status of the cell as a whole, in comparison with contemporary readouts which look only at a single process within the cell. By using whole cells from different tissues, the GES is adaptable to different types and causes of diabetes, allowing the discovery of diabetes medicines optimised for different diabetes pathologies.
The GES readout measures the expression of a cell’s genes and in particular provides a means by which the expression of a few selected genes, the Gene Expression Signature (GES), can be used to represent the entire complexity of a cell’s gene expression. This selection is made possible through the use of Bayesian statistical analysis, which in turn is only possible through the use of high-capacity parallel computing facilities.
The GES provides for rapid screening of compound libraries in a target- and mechanism-independent manner, allowing identification of diabetes therapeutics with novel and varied modes-of action. The GES is an ideal tool for screening compound libraries to uncover previously unidentified therapeutic activity and value. As demonstrated by the discovery of VVP808, the GES has particular utility in life cycle management: repositioning clinical compounds as diabetes therapies or “rescuing” developmental compounds that may have failed to demonstrate efficacy in their intial indications.