zPredicta, based in San Jose, specializes in creation of tumor-specific 3D cell culture models, intended for in-vitro testing of anti-cancer therapeutics.
LabCorp, headquartered in Burlington, NC, operates a nationwide network of clinical laboratories; its subsidiary, Covance, is a contract research organization (CRO) serving pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Julia Kirshner, zPredicta CEO and founder, told Outsourcing-Pharma after her firm developed and validated their 3D cell culture models, they began by marketing directly to potential users.
“While this has enabled us to validate our platform with some great customers, we believe there are many potential customers that we have not reached yet," she said. “We expect a partner like Covance with their breadth and depth of relationships and operations will introduce our platform to a much larger customer base and help us increase adoption.”
“We felt that it made sense to find partners in the CRO industry that could offer testing services to their clients based on our platform,” she added.
By collaborating with LabCorp, Kirshner told us, the company will be empowered to bring the 3D cell culture platform to a larger number of customers.
“With this strategic relationship, we are well-positioned to offer our cell culture technology to a much larger customer base and also to expand the number of cell culture models that we offer,” she said.”
Steve Anderson, Covance’s chief scientific officer, said the collaboration between the two organizations aligns with the company’s focus on precision medicine, especially in oncology.
“Covance continues to invest in innovations that improve drug development,” he said. “We believe the zPredicta 3D in vitro models offer a more predictable method for early evaluation of responses to immuno-oncology therapies.”
Kirshner also told us that zPredicta’s other projects include examining solutions for treating COVID-19.
“Our goal is to develop biological 3D models for all major organs and disease states,” she said. “Given the rapid spread of COVID-19, we are quickly redeploying some of our internal resources to develop a lung model for research into potential COVID-19 treatments.”
“We are at the very beginning of this effort and open to partnering with biophama companies with strengths in virology and respiratory disease,” Kirshner added.