CN Bio launches oncology service for drug discovery

The service provides a means to explore the relationships between pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) and efficacy in vitro

CN Bio, an organ-on-a-chip company (OOC) that designs and manufactures single- and multi-organ microphysiological systems (MPS), has announced the commercial launch of its oncology service, aimed to improve cancer drug discovery approval rates.

The service provides a means to explore the relationships between pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) and efficacy in vitro, accelerating the development of cancer therapeutics.

Despite the advancement of in vitro models, the ability of existing approaches to mimic the dynamic drug concentrations found in the human body is limited, with none currently able to recreate PK profiles and investigate their effect on cells and tissues. CN Bio says its offering addresses this gap in research by enabling researchers to create human and animal PK profiles and apply them to 3D tumour models and organoids.

Using technology licensed from the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE), led by Professor John Wikswo, the company’s PhysioMimix PK system exposes 3D tumour models to in vivo-like profiles by periodically changing the drug concentration in the well. This feature is not currently possible in standard fixed-concentration in vitro experiments, CN Bio says.

The service is designed to enable customers to study dose combinations and schedules which previously required large and expensive xenograft studies. In doing so, the service aims to support improved oncology drug discovery success rates and facilitate precision medicine using patient cells.

Dr Tomasz Kostrzewski, Director of Biology, CN Bio, said: “The expansion of CN Bio’s service offering to support oncology studies amplifies the breadth of solutions we provide into a critical area of research, that hasn’t been possible before. The service supports scientists to decide with greater confidence which projects to invest in, in a fraction of the time and cost of comparable approaches, giving a marked competitive edge, whilst demonstrating our continued focus on driving innovation within the life sciences.”

Dr David Hughes, CEO, CN Bio, commented: “Ninety percent of drugs entering Phase I trials fail, often due to a lack of efficacy, and consequently resulting in billions wasted in R&D costs. There is certainly a concerted move towards replacing the use of animal models in drug discovery, as illustrated by the recent vote in the EU parliament. CN Bio’s oncology service supports this movement by evidencing how the technology better recapitulates scenarios in vivo, to reduce reliability on conventional testing models.”