Systems Oncology, an AI-based cancer therapy discovery and development company, is honored with a 2020 AZBio Fast Lane Award

Systems Oncology is using AI to Innovate Drug Discovery & Development



CHANDLER, Ariz — (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that Systems Oncology, LLC, an AI-based cancer therapy discovery and development company, was honored during Arizona Bioscience Week with a 2020 AZBio Fast Lane Award.  Systems Oncology’s work was featured in Celebrating Life & Science, a one-hour television special which aired on September 16, 2020 (CW61-Phoenix)  and September 18, 2020  (ABC15) and is now available online.

“We have made tremendous advances in cancer treatment in the last 20 years, but for all of our progress, there are still too many cancer patients waiting for us to discover the precise treatment that will be effective for their unique cancer,” stated AZBio president & CEO Joan Koerber-Walker.  “AZBio honored Systems Oncology with a 2020 AZBio Fast Lane Award in recognition of their ability to speed up the process of identifying promising new treatments so that in the future we will have the more effective medicines available when patients need them.”

Working to discover a new drug is one of the most challenging scientific pursuits.  The Human Genome Project promised to accelerate our understanding of humans and to uncover the genetic basis of diseases. In the case of cancers, however, multiple complex genomic changes occur as cancer cells evolve, and these genetic changes cooperate in complex control systems that are, in many cases, not fully understood yet. The numbers of ways molecular changes in cancer genomes can interact in complex cellular control systems is larger than the multitude of stars in the universe, and far beyond what the human imagination can process or comprehend. 

Systems Oncology has a multidisciplinary team of scientists and a revolutionary cognitive computing platform (Expansive.AI) that is able to intelligently integrate, model, and mine big data from hundreds of molecular, genomic, and biomedical datasets.

In 2019, the company moved its headquarters to the Biomedical Collaborative Research Building in Scottsdale, Arizona to house its growing team and to expand its research infrastructure and capacity.  A major investment from The Pritzker Organization is helping to support the company’s growth and its rapidly expanding pipeline of innovative cancer therapeutics.

“This new kind of computational data mining has empowered our team to rapidly extract many therapeutically useful insights from complex multi-scalar systems models of cancer biology,” stated Spyro Mousses, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Systems Oncology. “This scalable data-driven approach enables our team to translate many unique biological insights into dozens of discovery projects and research collaborations with leading universities, producing one of the fastest growing pipelines of innovative cancer therapies in the industry.”

Systems Oncology has taken on this important challenge using a next-generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for translating massively complex scientific data into useful biological insights and novel cancer therapies with unprecedented speed, scale, and precision.

Systems Oncology’s team of world-class experts come from fields ranging from mathematics and AI to systems biology in order to combine multi-scalar systems modeling with machine learning and big-data. This unique combination of talent and technology has successfully uncovered multiple breakthrough therapeutic insights into cancer biology. The Systems Oncology team then draws on its deep scientific and clinical experience to translate those novel insights to discover and develop innovative therapeutics with curative potential.  

Today, Systems Oncology is managing a rapidly growing pipeline of more than 10 innovative cancer therapeutic programs, many of which are being developed collaboratively through partnerships with leading academic partners worldwide.  They then form industry partnerships with pharmaceutical companies who advance the programs through regulatory and commercialization success.  One example of this is an out-licensing collaboration with Toray, a public Japanese company, on a novel drug that is projected to be effective across many cancer indications.

The team at Systems Oncology also recently was able to close an exclusive global license agreement with pharmaceutical giant Bayer to advance ERSO, a compound in pre-clinical development for metastatic Estrogen Receptor (ER) positive breast cancer, an area where new therapies are urgently required. This investigational treatment has the potential to help many patients, as breast cancer is the second leading tumor type, with 70% of those cases being ER-positive. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will be responsible for developing and commercializing ERSO globally. Systems Oncology will receive an upfront payment of 25 million US dollars and is eligible to receive payments from Bayer upon achievement of certain development, and commercialization milestones totaling 345 million US dollars, as well as royalties on future global net sales.

Systems Oncology has earned a reputation as a top AI-drug discovery company.  The team has been invited to present at prestigious conferences and Systems Oncology has been featured in multiple industry reports. 

About AZBio

For 17 years, the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) has supported life science innovation and life science innovators in Arizona.  A key component in Arizona’s life science ecosystem, AZBio is the only statewide organization exclusively focused on Arizona’s bioscience industry.  AZBio membership includes patient advocacy organizations, life science innovators, educators, healthcare partners and leading business organizations. AZBio is the statewide affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and works in partnership with AdvaMed, MDMA, and PhRMA to advance innovation and to ensure that the value delivered from life-changing and life-saving innovation benefits people in Arizona and around the world.  

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About Arizona Bioscience Week

The 5th annual Arizona Bioscience Week was held from September 13 – 19, 2020 and was comprised of a full week of virtual events attended by people in Arizona and across the United States including Celebrating Life & Science, the White Hat Life Science Investor Conference, the 2nd annual Drug Discovery and Development Summit, the Student Discovery Zone Scholarship Challenge, and  a full week of virtual events hosted  in Arizona and attended by people in the United States, Asia, and Europe.  Learn more and view the Arizona Bioscience Week video library


Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. (AZBio)

Joan Koerber-Walker, president & CEO  | M: +1 (480) 332-9636


Systems Oncology, LLC

Teresa Niu, Director, Marketing & Business Development  | M:  +1 (480) 338-3568




Posted in AZBio News.