CAMBRIDGE, U.K. & PHILADELPHIA—Horizon Discovery Group plc, which deals in the application of gene-editing technologies such as in-vivo and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models, and The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research organization working in the areas of cancer, immunology and infectious diseases, announced recently that Horizon has taken an exclusive license to 153 of Wistar’s melanoma PDX models.
Finding predictive models for drug development is a major challenge in cancer research, the partners say, calling PDX models “a breakthrough” in that they allow researchers to examine how human tumors grow and respond to drugs in a living organism. Horizon distribution of the Wistar melanoma PDX collection will, they assert, allow scientists worldwide to investigate the efficacy and safety of their drugs prior to trials in human populations.
Wistar is providing a selection of PDX models representative of all previously described melanoma subtypes, making the collection “one of the most comprehensive collections of well-characterized melanoma PDX models available on the market today,” according to the institute. Horizon will offer this collection as ungrafted PDX suspensions or as the basis of in-vivo efficacy studies, where clients provide test compounds and Horizon’s team of expert scientists will demonstrate their effect on PDXs grown in mice.
Dr. Edward Weinstein, president of the Services Business at Horizon Discovery Group, commented: “A tremendous effort is ongoing in the area of melanoma research. There are currently hundreds of research programs underway, many of which are actively looking for the best model systems in which to test their compounds. As the exclusive provider of these highly sought-after PDX models, Horizon is in a strong position to provide our clients with these highly characterized tools and applied in-vivo services they need in order to help inform their research and drug discovery pipelines.”
“This collection of PDX models represents a highly valuable resource for conducting preclinical trials that are likely to identify novel therapeutics targeting melanoma,” added Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, director of The Wistar Institute Melanoma Research Center and the Caspar Wistar Professor in Melanoma Research. “We are excited to be partnering with a top-notch company like Horizon to help disseminate these models as widely as possible and support the fight against melanoma.”