CrownBio expands model options in cancer and more

Company completes validation of prostate cancer PDX model and forms alliance with Shanghai Model Organisms Center

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SAN DIEGO—Late September saw Crown Bioscience, a global drug discovery and development services company providing translational platforms to advance oncology, inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic disease research, announce the addition of unique, well-characterized, fully annotated patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of prostate cancer.
CrownBio notes that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males, impacting more than one million new patients worldwide each year, yet the disease has long been underrepresented at the preclinical modeling stage of drug development. This, the company says, is because of the difficulty in establishing PDX models.
PDX are the most translatable preclinical models currently available, directly derived from patient tissue and reflecting the variability and heterogeneity seen in patient populations, the company explains, and they also represent the tumor microenvironment (TME) more accurately than in-vitro options, particularly when transplanted orthotopically. Therefore they are the model of choice for preclinical drug discovery and development, and CrownBio’s goal is to “recapitulate the diversity and complexity of human cancer biology in the laboratory.”
“The biopharmaceutical research community has been lacking in well-characterized prostate cancer PDX models. They are extremely difficult to generate and grow in mice due to multiple issues,” said Dr. Henry Li, senior vice president of global scientific research and innovation for CrownBio. “I am very excited to announce the successful validation of models derived from both castration-resistant and hormone-sensitive primary tissue to add to our extensive collection of more than 2,500 PDX models.”
“At CrownBio we have dedicated significant efforts to the development of these models. We will continue to invest in a diverse collection of models that represents patient populations from different backgrounds globally. Due to their unique nature, we anticipate high demand for these clinically relevant models,” commented Dr. Jean-Pierre Wery, CEO of Crown Bioscience.
A little over a month earlier, the company also had model-related news with a broader reach. Specifically, Crown Bioscience reported that it had entered into a strategic alliance with Shanghai Model Organisms Center (SMOC) to exclusively license and commercialize SMOC’s comprehensive collection of genetically engineered models, including proprietary transgenic and reporter models for oncology, cardiovascular and immunology research.
SMOC leverages expertise in several gene-editing technologies to develop conventional knockout (KO), conditional KO, transgenic knock-in and humanized models. These capabilities are now exclusively available to CrownBio’s international clients for custom model generation, breeding,  rapid expansion and re-derivation capabilities and more.
“The strategic alliance with SMOC helps CrownBio become a leading global provider of unique GEM [genetically engineered mouse] models, while significantly expanding CrownBio’s collection of tumor homografts and humanized target models,” said Li. “Researchers working with CrownBio will now have access to thousands of knockout, knock-in and transgenic models as well as cutting-edge services for custom model creation, providing a unique portfolio of models for pharmacology and immuno-oncology research.”
“SMOC is excited to expand the use of our comprehensive GEM models outside of China through CrownBio’s global preclinical research engine,” noted Mingjun Wang, CEO of Shanghai Model Organisms. “The strategic alliance will help advance the shared goal of our organizations: to advance novel immuno-therapy targets worldwide.”

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