SGS adds PBMC analysis for early phase clinical trials to lineup at CPU

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/JK1991)
(Image: Getty/JK1991)

Related tags: Clinical trials, SGS, Pharmacology

The contract services provider is now collecting and using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for early phase clinical trials at its Antwerp, Belgium-based Clinical Pharmacology Unit (CPU).

The company also is augmenting its offering in the areas of infectious disease therapeutics and vaccines.

According to SGS, PBMCs – used to study pathology and biology in vitro ​– and are increasingly being used in clinical studies in immunology, infectious diseases, hematological malignancies, vaccine development, and transplant immunology.

PBMCs also are used in high-throughput screening, neovascularization, human body defense mechanism studies, among other uses, though use in clinical trials can be challenging, according to the company.

Haiko Pillu, Director Operations, CPU, SGS, said demand for these services has been driven by a growing pipeline in R&D of immunotherapy drugs, which require this analysis to be conducted in clinical trials.

As clinical trials have evolved ​during the years, there is more interest in pharmacodynamic markers​, and the effect that drugs have on cells in the human body," ​said Pillu.

"This is additional to the typical pharmacokinetic samples, and PBMC analysis is a way to target a population of human cells (white blood cells) that can give a clear indication on how the body is reacting. This information is interesting to give an understand the desired pathways of a drug inside the body," ​he told us.

Pillu explained, “One of the processes to optimize the handling of PBMCs in early phase trials is the use of the all-in-one cell preparation tubes, which, compared to the traditional Ficoll method, require less training of site staff, are less labor intensive, give better results in terms of viability and yield, and allow more time for the processing steps when conducting a clinical trial.”​ 

SGS in August opened​ a new biopharmaceutical testing lab in Geneva, Switzerland.

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