"Clinically predictive preclinical efficacy testing services at your disposal"

Jussi Halleen - CEO, Pharmatest Services

Humanized mouse models

Bone metastases are common and increase mortality in many cancers such as breast, prostate and lung cancers, and multiple myeloma. Bone microenvironment changes tumor properties and induces drug resistance, highlighting the importance of confirming cancer drug efficacy in models of tumor growth in bone before entering clinical trials. This should substantially decrease the currently very high failure rates of cancer drug candidates failing in clinical trials due to poor efficacy.

Bone provides an essential and natural site for testing immunomodulators as bone marrow is the reservoir of hematopoietic stem cells, the precursors of all immune cells. Humanized mouse models include functional human immune system, which allows their use in testing efficacy of immunomodulators on human cancer cells. Pharmatest is actively developing novel humanized mouse models of tumor growth in bone. In these models, human cancer cells are injected into the tibia of humanized mice, mimicking the clinical situation of tumor growth in bone in bone metastases.

Pharmatest has developed the first novel humanized mouse model of tumor growth in bone. The model uses ER+, PR+ and HER2+ human BT-474 breast cancer cells. In the model, radiography and in vivo µCT imaging can be used as follow-up parameters, and bone histology, bone turnover and tumor biomarkers in serum, and various immunohistochemical stainings can be used for revealing detailed information about cancer development and compound efficacy in bone.