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52 BIOTECHNOLOGY


cancer research, which have been cultured for decades and have helped us understand the molecular biology behind cancerous transformation, are still valid models for routine drug profiling in the early stages of drug development, allowing for rapid identification of potential hit molecules. Cell lines provide a rapid and low cost assay for screening, with the development of 3D cell cultures derived from cell lines we can give pharma companies a ready to use platform to reduce their attrition rate early in drug development. Te throughput and reproducibility provided by cell lines models is unparalleled. StemTek’s Cell2Sphere technology provides just that – a convenient, ready to use platform for routine drug discovery and drug validation that is delivered frozen for flexible planning of experiments. Available for the most common cell lines, it can also be set up to suit the researcher’s specific needs, and is set to become a standard in anti-cancer drug profiling.


Step towards rational drug development A step forward is represented by models that better recapitulate the physiological features of human tumours. Highly predictive patient-derived xenografts (PDX) represent a diversity of the human patient population in a close to real physiological model. Tese models grow human tumour fragments in mouse models in an attempt to identify responders for a ‘go or no go’ decision for drug positioning before a new agent enters the clinic. PDXs preserve both the genomic integrity and heterogeneity of the disease. Te use of these well-characterised models in human surrogate trials can provide data on responder populations, which can be further interrogated based on the genetic features


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Left: 3D spheroid images


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