SANTA CLARA, Calif.—April and March were good months for Crown Bioscience, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crown Bioscience International, in terms of expanding the capabilities of the global drug discovery and development services company, which provides translational platforms to advance oncology and metabolic disease research.
The most recent news came in the form of an announcement that Crown Bioscience had developed and validated a unique set of models for immuno-oncology called HuGEMM.
“Up until now, the lack of models available to test the in vivo efficacy of new antibody-based immunotherapies and combination therapies has hindered the research process,” according to Dr. Jean-Pierre Wery, president of Crown Bioscience. “With HuGEMM, there is now a robust model system in place to enable scientists to assess the efficacy of human biologic therapeutics directly without resorting to mouse surrogates.”
Syngeneic mouse tumor models, commonly used for testing surrogate anti-mouse PD-1 antibodies, cannot serve as models for human-specific therapeutics, according to CrownBio, and its HuGEMM platform, which was developed by directly replacing the murine PD-1 protein with its human counterpart, can be used to evaluate human therapeutics for checkpoint inhibitors including but not limited to antihuman PD1, antihuman PDL-1 and antihuman CTLA-4 antibodies.
With the inclusion of the HuGEMM models, CrownBio believes it has solidified its role as a leader in the preclinical immuno-oncology space, and notes that HuGEMM joins a portfolio of well-established translational model platforms, including the collection of HuPrime cancer models available through the company’s HuBase annotated database.
The HuGEMM models were developed in collaboration with CrownBio’s partner, Nanjing Galaxy Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The partnership of CrownBio and Nanjing Galaxy is expected to continue to advance both organizations’ research capabilities in immuno-oncology.
And, a bit more than a month earlier, CrownBio announced that its capabilities in two other therapeutic areas grew with the acquisition of PreClinOmics Inc., an in-vivo preclinical company that specializes in early research in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (CVMD) as well as renal disease. With this acquisition, CrownBio adds to its portfolio what it calls “some of the most relevant CVMD models to replicate human disease.”
CrownBio’s president adds: “The acquisition of PreClinOmics will allow CrownBio to create a center of excellence in global translational drug development specifically for cardiovascular and metabolic disease,” and Wery further goes on to say, “We are confident that the acquisition will ultimately result in greater success in clinical trials and lower the cost of drug development for diseases that produce some of the highest economic costs in the world.”
“PreClinOmics has an excellent track record and scientific reputation in the CVMD research and pharmaceutical industry, thus this is an outstanding opportunity for CrownBio to expand our capabilities to serve the needs of this community,” noted Dr. Jim Wang, senior vice president of CVMD research at Crown Bioscience.
PreClinOmics was incorporated in Indianapolis in 2001. It is an AAALAC-accredited solutions provider to the pharmaceutical industry in areas that include discovery services, analytical services, ADME/PK services, safety/non-GLP toxicology services and genetic models. The company works with clients in the pharma industry from large corporations all the way down to virtual start-ups.
“We are thrilled to join Crown Bioscience. The drug development industry will now have a single source that offers the best models available in both cardiovascular and metabolic diseases,” said Joseph Pesek, CEO and co-founder of PreClinOmics. “We are excited for the opportunities the acquisition has given us, especially with the reputation that CrownBio has earned with the experience and global resources it offers the market.”
With this acquisition, CrownBio says it is demonstrating its commitment to expanding its global reach as an end-to-end solution for cardiovascular and metabolic disease research, in addition to its existing oncology franchise, noting that PreClinOmics already has cutting-edge technologies that support a broad range of study designs, including metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, renal and neurology.
CrownBio notes in particular that, unlike other commercially available models, the models in the PreClinOmics product line develop adult onset type 2 diabetes and all the diabetic complications without relying on mutations in the leptin signaling. This is important, according to CrownBio, because mutations in the leptin gene/receptor have never been identified as relevant to the onset of the human disease.
PreClinOmics’ name will not dissolve after the acquisition. Instead, the company will be referred to as “PreClinOmics, a Crown Bioscience company.”