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Pharmatest launches first humanized mouse model of tumor growth in bone

news-releasesPharmatest Services Ltd
May 24th 2017

Turku, Finland: – Oncology and skeletal disease specialist CRO Pharmatest Services Ltd (Pharmatest) has launched the first novel humanized mouse model of tumor growth in bone suitable for testing immunotherapies.

Pharmatest has developed the novel humanized mouse model in collaboration with Taconic Biosciences. It models a tumor growth in bone that can be used for testing immunotherapies.

Pharmatest first presented the new model as a late-breaking poster in the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, and in more detail in a scientific webinar in April 2017.

Reducing failure rate

“Testing compound efficacy in bone microenvironment should decrease substantially the very high number of cancer drugs currently failing in clinical trials due to poor efficacy,” commented Pharmatest CEO, Jussi Halleen.

Bone metastases are common and increase mortality in many cancers such as breast, prostate and lung cancers, and multiple myeloma. Bone microenvironment changes tumor properties and induces drug resistance. Thus, showing compound efficacy in the commonly used subcutaneous cell line based and patient-derived xenograft models may not translate into efficacy when the tumor is in bone, leading to lack of efficacy in cancers where bone metastases increase mortality.

Confirming immunomodulator efficacy

Immunotherapies have proven efficacy on many primary tumors in preclinical studies. Bone provides an essential and natural site for testing immunomodulators, as bone marrow is the reservoir of hematopoietic stem cells, the precursors of all immune cells. The now established humanized mouse model of tumor growth in bone includes the functional human immune system, which allows its use in confirming efficacy of immunomodulators in the bone microenvironment.

“This is the first validated model produced by our large ongoing R&D program for developing humanized mouse models of bone metastasis in collaboration with Taconic Biosciences,” said Mr. Halleen.

Reducing development costs

Mr. Halleen added: “We are very excited about the ongoing collaboration with Taconic for establishing humanized bone metastasis models. Currently, a very high number of cancer drugs fail in clinical trials due to poor efficacy. One important reason for this in cancers that develop bone metastases is that drug efficacy has not been confirmed in preclinical models where the tumor cells are in bone. Our novel humanized mouse models provide a completely new tool for this purpose, and they should dramatically decrease drug development costs and increase the speed and number of truly efficacious new therapies entering clinical practice.”

Pharmatest is a contract research organization that offers preclinical efficacy services for the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of oncology and skeletal diseases with special oncological expertise in models of bone metastasis.

Its partner, Taconic Biosciences, headquartered in Germantown, NY, was founded in 1949 by Robert K. Phelan and has grown from a garage-based mouse breeder to a fully-licensed, global leader in genetically engineered rodent models and services.

About Pharmatest

Pharmatest Services Ltd (Pharmatest) is a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in clinically predictive preclinical efficacy services in the therapeutic areas of oncology and skeletal diseases.

Pharmatest helps establish proof-of-efficacy of cancer drug candidates with cell culture assays, organotypic 3D models, orthotopic animal models, and disseminated cancer models. Its models of skeletal diseases include bone cell culture assays and animal models of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis that can also be used for bone safety testing.

Headquartered in Turku, Finland, Pharmatest’s preclinical research unit offers modern research facilities including fully equipped laboratories and barrier-type animal facilities.

The CRO has supported more than 100 clients from pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations worldwide in research to develop new therapeutics against cancer and skeletal diseases. It has also assisted many nutraceutical companies in the development of new phytopharmaceutical products.

Pharmatest has developed a proven ability to reduce costs and notably increase the speed of drug development by processing outsourced preclinical efficacy testing with maximum efficiency and providing clients with access to latest translational tools for lead validation and proof-of-concept studies in oncology and skeletal diseases.

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