Model behavior

Crown announces alliance focused on translational models and hosts symposia to boost discussion

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Crown Bioscience has announced an exclusive preclinical services alliance applying its collection of naturally occurring diabetic translational models. While no details were disclosed, Crown’s models are known to cover a variety of indications. The translational models are designed for research into a variety of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including spontaneous developed diabetes and its complications, such as diabetic nephropathy, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, fatty liver and diet-induced dyslipidemia, among others. They are designed to mimic aspects of human disease related to obesity, nephropathy, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, reduced glucose disposition, insulin resistance and late-stage insulin dependency.
“Our translational models give sponsors a high level of confidence when deciding to move a drug candidate into clinical development by providing insights into the pharmacological mechanisms of a drug and identifying biomarkers important to clinical trial design,” Dr. Jean-Pierre Wery, president of Crown, said in a press release.
The company also announced in early November that it houses the world’s largest commercially available portfolio of small cell lung cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. Crown has developed the HuPrime and PDXact Jumpstart collections of small cell lung cancer models, and a majority of the 70 models have RNA sequence data, with more than half also featuring in-vivo standard-of-care data.
It’s far from the only news for Crown in the translational sphere lately. The company also hosted a symposium in September for some of the industry’s leading experts to discuss recent scientific discoveries in translational oncology. Among the covered topics, Dr. Henry Li, vice president of translational oncology at Crown, discussed the molecular pathway of PDX diseases, while Dr. Tommy Broudy, general manager and chief scientific officer at Crown Bioscience San Diego, lectured on the adoption of clinically relevant models in oncology therapeutics. Dr. Christopher Murriel, chair of the symposium and a senior scientist in the department of cancer biology at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, held forth on the use of patient-derived and murine tumor models to predict impacts on cancer stem cells and antitumor immunity.
“Some of the foremost researchers in this field shared information about immuno-oncology therapies and their impact on translational oncology,” Murriel remarked of the event. “Translational research, particularly in oncology, holds tremendous potential toward therapeutic drug development and clinical advancement—and the scientists at this symposium presented exciting research that demonstrates how much opportunity exists.”
On Nov. 4, Crown hosted another symposium, this one at the Boston Museum of Science and held a day before the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. The symposium, titled “Translational Oncology and the Rise of Immunotherapy...a Global Challenge That Requires a Personal Touch,” focused on recent developments in translational research, including improving clinical relevance, predictive biomarker development and genomic approaches to personalized medicine. Li and Murriel spoke at the event, as did Dr. Qian Shi, Crown’s vice president of cancer pharmacology, and they were also joined by speakers from Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., MedImmune, Merck & Co. and Tesaro Inc.
“The objective of the symposium is to foster a greater understanding of translational technologies in both research and clinical communities,” Wery remarked. “These technologies connect the preclinical and clinical aspects of drug development and provide decision support tools as companies advance therapeutic candidates. Our goal is to share the latest scientific discoveries to help researchers identify the best candidates for clinical development.”
Crown also recently announced that Dr. Zhen Pang, a recognized expert in transgenic models, had joined the company as its scientific director. Pang has previously held key positions as principal research investigator at a number of global biopharmaceutical companies, with experience in multiple therapeutic areas, including metabolic diseases.
“We are experiencing substantial growth in demand for our cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) services because of our depth and capability in cardiovascular and diabetic research,” remarked Dr. Jim Wang, senior vice president of CVMD research at Crown Bioscience. “With the expansion of our CVMD program in the U.S. and China, as well as the appointment of Dr. Pang, we are able to provide cutting-edge translational platforms and cost-effective drug development solutions to top pharmaceutical companies worldwide.”

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