Preclinical Testing

Pre-and Co-Clinical Trial Capabilities

Preclinical testing typically begins in small animals such as rodents, after which additional safety tests are performed in larger animals before advancing to clinical trials. This is done to test for negative side effects and toxicity before moving to clinical trials. Pig models are becoming increasingly popular for testing toxicology, surgical, and other medical procedures; however, their value as a translational cancer model is also becoming more broadly recognized. Our expert opinion is that porcine cancer models can be utilized in both preclinical and co-clinical trial settings, where pigs are enrolled in a clinical trial alongside human patients to assess drug safety and efficacy while reducing the number of human patients required for each trial. The Oncopig model represents an ideal large animal translational cancer model for preclinical and co-clinical trials due to our ability to control the induction of tumors and comorbidities both spatially and temporally. The Oncopig model thus provides the ability to create cohorts of relevant patients that can undergo tumor development, treatment, and monitoring of treatment responses using clinically relevant tools and timeframes, allowing researchers to carefully monitor tumor progression, invasion, and metastasis.

Rapid Screening and Genetic Manipulation

Our panel of Oncopig cancer cell lines, comprising 15 tumor types to date, provides the added benefit of rapid screening of anti-cancer compounds in parallel with human cancer lines. This panel of human and porcine cancer lines provides the benefit of screening cancer drugs across multiple Oncopig and human cell lines to simultaneously confirm their likely efficacy in humans and pigs before advancing to pre- or co-clinical trials.  In addition, through the use of state-of-the-art gene-editing technologies, we have the ability to develop genetically defined pig cancer cell lines for screening of targeted therapeutics.  Development of pig cancer cell lines harboring clinically relevant driver mutational profiles is currently underway.  In addition, custom lines can be created as needed for individual projects.