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Pepper Bio Partners with Stanford’s Felsher Lab to Identify Therapy Targets for Untreatable, MYC Addicted Lymphatic and Liver Cancers

Leveraging Pepper Bio’s transomics platform, Dean Felsher’s research team will translate academic findings for the development of more efficacious therapies for lymphoma and hepatocellular carcinoma

Boston, Mass. – WEBWIRE

Today, Pepper Bio, the world’s first transomics drug discovery company, announced a collaboration with the Dean Felsher Laboratory at Stanford University. Leveraging Pepper Bio’s unique platform on phosphoproteomics, the two teams aim to identify and validate novel targets for hepatocellular carcinoma and lymphoma within the year.

Hepatocellular carcinoma, the most prevalent type of liver cancer, is diagnosed in over 35 thousand people, and lymphoma is diagnosed in over 80 thousand people each year. To treat these cancers and others, researchers need to target the broken genes that either rapidly spur or fail to suppress tumor growth. The Felsher Lab has identified one of these processes, known as oncogene addiction, in which specific tumor cells depend on a single activated oncogenic protein or pathway to maintain malignancy. When the activated pathway the cancer relies on is defeated, so is the cancer. Defeating the activated pathway is a nontrivial scientific task.

In studying oncogene addiction, Felsher’s Lab found protein phosphorylation is a critical mechanism of oncogenesis and, thus, crucial to understand for treating these highly aggressive cancers. Pepper Bio is the first and only techbio company to provide academic researchers and pharmaceutical partners with technology to identify functional, actionable insights on protein phosphorylation, known as phosphoproteomics. 

“Pepper Bio’s platform is able to integrate and translate large amounts of different kinds of measurements across the omic layers into actionable insights, and provides an immense advantage in identifying disease pathways that are implicated in the proliferation of cancer,” said head of the Felsher Lab and Stanford Medicine’s Associate Chief of Medical Oncology, Translational Research & Applied Medicine, Dean Felsher, MD, PhD. “As such, Pepper’s technology is highly valuable to my lab’s current research focus of surfacing insight around which phospho-proteins are linked to specific oncogenes.”

By fully stacking and integrating these four layers of biological data -- genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, and phosphoproteomics -- researchers have a complete, real-time map of what happens in cells before and during disease. Pepper Bio will collaborate with the Felsher Lab and contribute to oncogene addiction and target validation research. Co-founder and Chief Science Officer Samantha Dale Strasser, PhD., will lead efforts on the startup’s side. 

”As our technology teases out changes in pathway activity, notably phosphoproteomics, we can directly support the goal of finding the linchpins necessary to defeat pathways of oncogene addiction. There is a natural fit between the work the Felsher lab is doing and the transomics capabilities we have unlocked,”  said Dr. Strasser. “Dean is an excellent mentor, resource, and partner as we bring our technology to an application where it can advance research outcomes and improve the lives of patients and their loved ones.”

Just three months after Pepper Bio launched from stealth with backing from VC firm, NFX Bio, this announcement underscores the readiness and viability of its platform for drug discovery and target validation. 

To learn more about Pepper Bio, please visit:

About Pepper Bio 

Pepper Bio is the world’s first transomics drug discovery company, leveraging its proprietary transomics database and analytics to identify promising first-in-class therapies, rediscover new uses for existing therapeutics, and rescue drugs in development on a path toward failure. Founded in 2020 and based in Boston, Massachusetts, Pepper Bio is led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jon Hu, and co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Samantha Dale Strasser, Ph.D.


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