Precos will expand its portfolio of preclinical cancer models after being licensed to store and handle human tissue by the UK’s HTA.
Part of the UK-based preclinical contract research organisation’s (CRO) business is a range of patient-derived tumour xenograft (PDX) models developed at the University of Nottingham, which are used to develop treatment for lung cancers.
However, because the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) license was held by the institution rather than Precos, until today the firm was not permitted to collect, store and conduct research on the human tissues necessary to extend the range of assays.
Precos told Outsourcing-pharma.com that it will extend its PDX offering “to a wider range of cancer types beyond the focus of the research interests at the University and utilise the original patient material for in-house molecular characterisation.”
The immediate plan is to add new models for breast and hematopoietic cancers to the portfolio, however, the firm has additional projects planned.
“We are also developing resistant models and orthotopic models, which will enable drug discovery organisations to screen their compounds in highly relevant models which reflect the current clinical climate.”
Precos expects the expanded development opportunities to help it win pharmaceutical industry customers, some of which have already made approaches.
“We have already had significant interest from many clients and potential partners about working with us to develop unique panels for a number of cancer subtypes. There is a high demand for PDX models, but an even more strategic demand for the advanced modelling capabilities that are unique.
“Drug discovery companies need to stay at the cutting edge of science and access models which are truly reflective of the complexity of the human tumour microenvironment, and provide models of resistance mechanisms which patients may typically experience following a relapse.”