Evolution Inspired Medicine


Disease suppressors

We now know that some people carry severe disease-causing mutations but they don’t get sick. The explanation for this remarkable paradox is genetic modifiers: genetic changes that suppress disease, rather than cause it. At Scenic, we aim to unearth these genetic modifiers, and use them to inspire a new generation of therapeutics. We call this approach “Evolution inspired medicine”.

Scenic’s technology

Scenic employs a proprietary target discovery technology called Cell-Seq. It uses special human cells that carry only a single copy of every gene, instead of the usual two. Individual genes in billions of these cells are inactivated so that nearly every gene in the genome is inactivated often several thousands of times. From this very large “library” of mutant cells, millions of cells with a cellular phenotype of interest, such as a disease-associated process, are isolated and analyzed by the latest DNA sequencing technology. Bioinformatics analysis then identifies every gene that modifies the cellular phenotype, including novel drug targets. The approach is used on healthy and diseased cells to unearth disease-specific genetic modifiers, including disease suppressors.

Further reading:
1: Brockmann M, et al. Nature. 2017 PMID:28562590
2: Mezzadra R, et al. Nature. 2017 PMID:28813410
3: Staring J et al. Nature. 2017 PMID: 28077878.
4: Nieuwenhuis J, et al. Science. 2017 PMID: 29146869
5: Blomen VA, Science. 2015 PMID: 26472760.

Unrivaled resolution and endless variation

Because millions of single cells, each carrying a different gene mutation, are analyzed in a single experiment, the precision of our genetics approach is unrivaled. A single map can reveal an entire cellular signaling pathway or a complete molecular machine, complete with new and unexpected components. High throughput sorting of cells based on fluorescent labeling means that the possibilities and variations are practically endless.

Mapping the genetic landscape of a human cell, one scene at a time

Thanks to the robustness of Scenic’s technology, we can map the genetic wiring of a human cell at unprecedented resolution. Each map is a unique snapshot that is combined with all the other maps in our rapidly growing database. This provides a powerful resource for target prioritization and a uniquely valuable resource.

Stem Cells Immunotherapy

Rare diseases

There are thousands of rare, and often devastating, genetic diseases, most of which have no treatments. At Scenic, we can model many of these diseases and identify new drug targets to suppress them. By developing these targets into therapeutics, we aim to ultimately improve the lives of patients and their families.


Scenic’s approach can be used to capture how cancer cells evade the immune system. This yields first in class targets in immuno-oncology. At Scenic, we are developing these targets and continue to uncover new ones.

Therapeutic focus

Scenic’s pipeline is currently focused on rare genetic diseases, including lysosomal storage diseases, and immuno-oncology.

Powered by in silico analysis

The rapidly expanding collection of maps provides a powerful and novel way of determining the specificity of identified genetic modifiers and thereby identifying the most valuable targets. Specific targets that display the desired specificity are selected for further validation.