New on Science Exchange: ActiveMotif, Optopatch, & CV Tox for World Heart Day

September 20, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, New Innovations, Research |

by Chandreyee Das, Ph.D., Senior Content Manager, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

We observe World Heart Day at Science Exchange by highlighting a novel technology for assessing cardiac safety, from the Efimov Lab at George Washington University. Other newcomers on our platform that we present to you are ActiveMotif, Oncodesign, QurAlis, and Worldwide Clinical Trials.

ActiveMotif: Time to RIME (Rapid IP-MS of endogenous proteins)

It’s the 20th anniversary of the discovery of chromatin — and researchers can treat their favorite chromatin samples to ActiveMotif’s RIME service (Rapid immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry of endogenous

RIME Method ActiveMotif

RIME service from ActiveMotif includes nuclear isolation, sonication, IP, purification, tryptic digestion, MS, and data analysis

proteins). It is an ideal method for identifying transcriptional cofactors and other associated proteins within multi-protein complexes, and is often performed in parallel with ChIP-seq.

A leading provider of kits and services for studying gene regulation (both genetic and epigenetic), ActiveMotif is no stranger to chromatin. RIME is just one of a comprehensive menu of gene regulation services that ActiveMotif offers through Science Exchange — visit the storefront to browse their capabilities.

 

QurAlis: Harvard team uses Dead Sea microbes in novel assays

Founded in May 2017 by Clifford Woolf, Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, Kevin Eggan, Professor of Regenerative Biology at Harvard, Kasper Roet, Harvard Research Fellow, and Q-State Biosciences, QurAlis focuses the power of Q-State’s powerful, 100% optical electrophysiology platform on novel, stem cell-derived, disease-in-dish models of ALS.

It’s a Dead Sea microorganism that is the basis of the enabling Q-State technology. QuasAr proteins, derived from this microbe, respond to action potentials and synaptic signals by emitting near-infrared fluorescence. These Optopatch assays thus deliver higher throughput and information content than traditional patch clamp assays, and they also provide better resolution and lower phototoxicity than other optical screening tools.

We’re very excited to have QurAlis join Q-State Biosciences on our network, giving neurobiology researchers easy access to the expertise of the QurAlis team.

 

Worldwide Clinical Trials: Early phase services now available on Science Exchange

In the high-stakes service category of clinical trials, Worldwide stands out. In fact, Worldwide’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Michael F. Murphy, M.D., Ph.D., was recently named one of the PharmaVOICE 100 Most Inspiring People of 2017 — for the impact of Dr. Murphy’s dedication to innovation.

Continuously working to improve trial design and patient outcomes, Worldwide now offers early phase services on the Science Exchange network. Click on the Worldwide storefront to access this major global CRO without needing a separate contract.

 

Efimov Lab: Predictive preclinical models of cardiovascular toxicology

An apt addition to the Science Exchange platform, in time for World Heart Day (September 29!), is the Efimov Laboratory at George Washington University.

Known around the world as a leader in cardiovascular science and biomedical engineering, Dr. Igor Efimov and his team developed a method for optically mapping organotypic cultures of donor human heart slices, enabling users to test the cardiac safety and efficacy of therapeutic candidates.

The culture method preserves heart tissue architecture and extracellular matrix — aspects of heart health that cannot be revealed by iPSC-derived cardiac cells or other traditional assays for cardiovascular toxicology. Visit the lab’s storefront for a list of their recent exciting publications — this is clearly a team to watch.

 

Oncodesign: Preclinical assessment of anti-cancer therapies

True thought leaders in the field of preclinical drug discovery and development, Oncodesign made the news last year when it partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop novel macrocyclic candidates and test them using their proprietary xenograft models and imaging technology.

Now, Oncodesign’s services are easily accessible to Science Exchange requesters. We get extremely excited thinking that a requester on our platform with a promising therapeutic candidate may now use Oncodesign’s Predict®, Chi-mice®, Pharmimage® and other platforms to characterize their candidate, speeding it along the path to potential cancer patients. Start a conversation with this leading CRO by submitting your Scope of Work here.

 

 

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

The Robotic Cloud Laboratory for the Life Sciences: Transcriptic

September 20, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |

Transcriptic LogoBy Natalie Foote, Director of Service Provider Operations, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

 

In this Provider Innovation Profile, we’re proud to feature Transcriptic, whose automated cellular and molecular biology platform enables scalable life science research with flexibility and precision.

Automation is a rapidly advancing area of biotechnology, and Science Exchange hopes to give our researchers access to unique robotics platforms while helping them save on equipment costs and manage laboratory space limitations.

Transcriptic’s robotic cloud lab paradigm means biologists can be running experiments on the other side of the planet from their lab, leveraging a bank of robotic workcells for massive experimentation.

Transcriptic frees researchers to focus on the creative aspects of their science by providing faster, more reliable and repeatable processes with vastly lower capital costs than previously possible.

Differentiators: Transparency, flexibility, multiplex-ity

Transcriptic Robotic Workcell

Multiple integrated automated devices per workcell

  • Transparency: No other service provider on the planet can tell you exactly how they run an experiment on the user’s behalf. Transcriptic provides deep transparency into how users’ experiments were run by executing experiments exactly as specified and also providing retrospective diagnostic data on individual instrument performance during the experiment.
  • Flexible robotics: Being a robotic cloud lab, the Transcriptic system can dynamically provision robotic resources to process samples for users. For example, the system might start the week at a scale of one plate and end the week on hundreds of plates. Users only pay for the resources they use, reaping the reproducibility and throughput benefits of robotics without any of the overhead.
  • Easy multiplexing: The Transcriptic web application makes it easy as checking a box to detect an additional analyte in your sample. When it’s that easy, you can perform multiplexed quantiation of more analytes, starting to generate a more accurate picture of the phenotypic state of your sample.

Featured Service: Mesocale Discovery (MSD) Assay

The MSD assay, validated in many bioanalytical methods per U.S. FDA and EMA guidances, is offered as a service by Transcriptic. The Mesoscale Discovery Sector S 600 instrument is fully integrated with the Transcriptic robotic cloud lab.

The MSD S 600 instrument performs multiplexed detection of up to 10 analytes per well, ensuring the highest data-to-sample quantity efficiency, in immunoassays. Multiple assay panels are available from the V-Plex line, all conducted with complete automated precision by robots in the cloud. Custom panel assays are also available through the MSD U-Plex system.

Why requesters choose Transcriptic

Transcriptic, in collaboration with multiple biopharma companies and non-academic laboratories, has delivered many peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

Transcriptic presented one interesting study at SynBioBeta 2016. In collaboration with EpiBiome, Transcriptic’s automated platform provided a robust, reproducible and high-throughput method for on-demand microbiome characterization. This workflow captured sample prep through NGS and sequencing analysis in 7-10 days, allowing for fast, iterative cycles of microbiome screening.

Visit the Transcriptic storefront today to request some quotes!

 

New on Science Exchange: Nobel-worthy Nanosensors, MacroDSF, Fluidigm, and More

August 22, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |

Nobel-worthy nanosensors

In 2007, Charles Lieber, the Harvard scientist who many say is in the running for a Nobel prize, co-founded Vista NanoBioSciences to enable drug discovery researchers to use his team’s nanosensor technologies for label-free, ultrasensitive detection of proteins, nucleic acids, and even single viral particles.

Functionalized Nanowires Vista NanoBioSciences

Vista NanoBioSciences’ ultrasensitive biomarker detection platform (left) uses functionalized nanowires (“NW”) that respond to interactions with individual biomolecules.

Vista NanoBioSensor

Now available through Science Exchange, Vista NanoBioSciences offers biomarker assays using its portable NanoBioSensor™ and BioTracker™ platforms. Vista’s NanoBioSensor precisely detects and measures biomarkers in a finger-stick drop of blood, other bodily fluid, or tissue culture – without labeling and in less than 10 minutes. Vista’s BioTracker provides continuous monitoring of dynamic changes in the targeted analytes of any biological material.  Both devices are portable, exhibiting very high sensitivity (10³ increase over ELISA), high specificity, across multiple logs of concentration, in real time.

Taking the pain out of protein purification with MacroDSF

Empowered by high-throughput protein purification and structure determination technologies, structure-based drug discovery is enjoying a resurgence.

NovAliX, a new provider on the Science Exchange network, gives you access to the ProteoPlex MacroDSF platform, an exciting tool for rapidly optimizing conditions for protein purification and crystallization.

The instrument quickly optimizes  protein concentration, pH value, salt, buffer, stabilizing additive, etc — potentially increasing a purified protein’s stability or even the resolution of its crystal structure!

NovAliX also offers a broad range of biophysical characterization services to provide a complete picture of the protein of interest.

Fluidigm custom assay development

Interested in Fluidigm’s powerful mass cytometry and microfluidics platforms, but lack the resources to design the perfect assay?

Now you can take advantage of Fluidigm’s expertise using the company’s own team of assay development scientists. Through Science Exchange, you can order custom assays for Fluidigm’s CyTOF®, Helios®, and integrated fluidic circuit-based platforms.

Oncology, from ABL1 to ZAP70

Based in Freiburg, Germany, ProQinase has been supporting oncology research for 16 years. Now on Science Exchange, ProQinase offers biochemical assay services (such as kinase screens), cellular assay services (such as proliferation, invasion and spheroid assays), and in vivo assay services (including immuno-oncology and metastasis models).

The scientific staff at ProQinase are thought leaders in oncology research. At the 2017 AACR Annual Meeting, they presented a novel assay platform to distinguish ATP-competitive from non-ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors.

Medicinal chemistry and process optimization

If you’re looking for a full-service laboratory to execute your chemistry projects, you’ll be happy to see the addition of Kalexsyn, a chemical synthesis powerhouse based in Michigan, U.S.A, to the Science Exchange network.

Whether it’s developing novel scaffolds, SAR, modification of complex natural products or challenging macrocyclic peptides, Kalexsyn’s deep bench of Ph.D. chemists provides IP-enabling expertise.

The Kalexsyn team has produced over 1000 publications and patents and has served over 85 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

 

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

In vivo Phenotypic Screening: Melior Discovery

August 19, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Helpful products, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |

By Natalie Foote, Director of Service Provider Operations, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

Melior Logo

Phenotypic Screening Pioneer Launches Novel Analgesia Panel

In this Provider Innovation Profile, we’re proud to feature Melior Discovery, a pioneer of in vivo phenotypic screening and a leader in the area of drug repositioning.

Melior’s platform evaluates compounds through up to 40 different animal models representing 14 broad therapeutic areas, potentially uncovering therapeutic efficacy that might be undetected using traditional assessments.

Recently, Melior made the news with its novel opioidTRACE® Analgesic Profiling Platform. Given the need to develop low-abuse analgesics to address the opioid crisis, Melior has configured an in vivo platform aimed at specifically profiling opioid therapeutics and related analgesics.

The opioidTRACE® platform addresses the multiple features characteristic of opioids, including rodent models that evaluate acute analgesia, chronic analgesia, respiratory depression, GI mobility, and abuse liability. In addition to opioid testing, Melior has a wide array of animal models of analgesia ranging models of acute pain to chronic neuropathy models. 

[click to view larger view of opioidTRACE® animal models]Opioid Trace In Vivo Models

Backed by Expertise in In Vivo Screening

Melior’s new panel is just the latest demonstration of the team’s unique know-how in applying “production-mode” methods for in vivo screening across multiple therapeutic areas. Its proprietary theraTRACE® platform enables rapid and cost-effective identification of new therapeutic potential by systematically screening candidates in a diverse array of validated in vivo disease models.

Fibrosis is another disease area for which Melior’s panels have exemplified the utility of in vivo  phenotypic screening. Melior has validated models of liver and lung fibrosis; download the validation data for these models from the Resources section of Melior’s Science Exchange storefront.

Why Requesters are Choosing Melior for In vivo Studies

Melior’s capability directly translates to efficiencies combined with high levels of quality for their clients. Positive ratings and testimonials illustrate the benefits that attract repeat business for Melior:

  • High reproducibility and predictive power of in vivo methodologies, models, and assays assuring high quality of data
  • Lower overall costs resulting from the availability of highly cost effective preclinical services from Melior
  • Rapid responses to requests for service and quick turnaround times for preclinical studies
  • Ability to rapidly customize, design, and modify models in response to requests for specialized in vivo services or changes in protocols or unexpected results at any stage of the study

Dr. Sridharan Rajamani, Senior Research Scientist at Gilead Sciences, said that his team chose Melior Discovery because they were responsive and cost effective.  “We are staying with them as a chosen scientific partner because of their thoughtful scientific input to experimental design and attention to detail,” said Dr. Rajamani. “Their expertise and flexibility allowed us to quickly adapt the study design and evaluate additional outcome measures to pursue unexpected activity.”  

Interested in working with Melior Discovery? Request a quote to start the discussion.

New Service Providers Available on Science Exchange

August 2, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |
Image of Colon Tumor Cells courtesy of OcellO

Image of Colon Tumor Stem Cells courtesy of OcellO

If you aren’t exploring the latest cell culture models of human tissue for nonclinical and preclinical testing, you should be.

That’s the bottom line of today’s Science Exchange service provider roundup — three of the five newest service providers on our platform are experts in developing predictive models.

Advances in predictive model systems

Axiogenesis, based in Germany, develops iPSC-derived models of cardiac tissue, neurons, and other cell types. In late 2016, the company made the news when researchers at the United States FDA published a peer-reviewed study showing that Axiogenesis’s Cor.4U cardiomyocyte model was the most predictive model in cardiac safety tests. Last month, researchers at Wake Forest University used the Cor.4U model to develop a digitally trackable beating-heart biosensor. The future of cardiac safety clearly lies beyond hERG channel electrophysiology!

Generating tissue models with precise spatial resolution is possible using 3D bioprinting, in which Cypre Biotech is an expert. Based in San Francisco, USA, the company focuses on customizing the extracellular matrix of tumor microenvironment models to match certain cancer subtypes. Given the impact of new cancer drugs, including certain immunotherapies, on the tumor microenvironment, technologies such as that developed by Cypre are going to be needed for testing safety and efficacy.

The third service provider in this roundup excelling in the development of clinically relevant microtissue models is OcellO, headquartered in the Netherlands. Researchers at OcellO have published numerous peer-reviewed studies showing how combining three-dimensional tissue culture with high-throughput imaging can enable efficient, automated screening and phenotypic profiling. Their most recent publication showed that phenotypic screening of kinase inhibitors could reveal potential new targets for polycystic kidney disease (view abstract in the Resources section of the OcellO storefront).

Analytical methods for translational research

As model systems advance in complexity and throughput, analytical methods must keep pace. Two service providers new on Science Exchange are known for their expertise in developing reliable analytical methods.

Pangaea Oncology is one of the most prestigious laboratories in the world in the fields of molecular diagnostics, pathology, and related analysis services for translational research. We are thrilled to have the Pangaea team, led by expert Dr. Rafael Rosell and Nobel laureate Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, join the Science Exchange platform! Pangaea Oncology was the first laboratory in Spain to be accredited to perform certain genetic tests for cancer in serum/plasma samples, advancing precision medicine.

We also bring you Metis Laboratories, whose analytical expertise centers on radiotracer-based assays. These assays remain one of the most sensitive and specific platforms for assessing ligand binding and compound distribution; however, complex handling requirements mean that outsourcing these studies is far more practical than developing radiotracer assays in house.

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

Covance Nonclinical Services Now Listed On Science Exchange

June 14, 2017 | Posted by Team in Company, Drug Discovery, Science Exchange News, Uncategorized |

Covance   +  Science Exchange

 

Biopharma scientists seeking to outsource nonclinical studies have a new way to access the scientific expertise of Covance, a market leader in drug development. Covance’s nonclinical scientific services – including lead optimization, safety assessment, drug metabolism and bioanalytical solutions – are now available through Science Exchange. Scientists can order available study services from Covance by visiting the Covance Storefront on ScienceExchange.com. Or they can contact the Science Exchange Concierge Service to have a Sourcing Manager prepare custom quotes and provide start-to-finish project management.

Scientists from around the world already use Science Exchange to save time and money by ordering services from our network of more than 6400 pre-qualified service providers. With Covance joining the Science Exchange network, scientists can further benefit by being able to easily access the deep nonclinical scientific expertise of one of the world’s top CROs through the convenience of the Science Exchange platform. 

In addition, researchers at companies who have established enterprise-level Master Service Agreements (MSAs) with Science Exchange can get projects started with Covance almost instantly.

As an introductory offer, through September 30, 2017, requesters can take advantage of special fast study starts on select GLP Toxicology in vivo studies or full IND/CTA-enabling packages available from Covance, ordered through the Science Exchange platform.  

Request a quote today — access nonclinical scientific services from Covance through the Covance Storefront on Science Exchange.

 

* To be eligible for introductory offer, work must begin by September 30, 2017. Additional terms and conditions apply.  This is a limited time, limited capacity offer – Covance reserves the right to end these promotions at any time, without notice.

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and Science Exchange Launch ADDF ACCESS

June 9, 2017 | Posted by Team in Company, Drug Discovery, New Feature, Press Release, Research, Science Exchange News |

New “CRO Finder” Connects Scientists with Specialized Resources

by Cliff Culver, VP Strategy and GM, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

NEW YORK, June 7, 2017 — The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, and Science Exchange today announced the launch of ADDF ACCESS, a first-of-its-kind online platform designed to match scientists working on central nervous system (CNS) diseases with a vetted network of contract research organizations (CROs).

ADDF ACCESS meets the unique needs of scientists in both academia and small biotech companies by combining the resources of Science Exchange, the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced research and development, with the Alzheimer’s drug discovery knowledge of the ADDF.

“Drug discovery requires a wide range of expertise, from medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to project management and regulatory affairs,” said Lauren Friedman, Ph.D., ADDF ACCESS program director. “Researchers don’t always have the interdisciplinary teams needed to develop a drug. We created the new ACCESS website with Science Exchange to connect researchers with high-quality CROs and provide guidance and resources to help successfully advance their drug programs.”

On ADDF ACCESS, scientists will find:

A network of CROs and consultants with CNS drug discovery expertise, vetted by the ADDF and Science Exchange
An expert concierge service to match scientists with the right CROs, solicit multiple competitive quotes, and manage projects
A library of educational resources, including a guide to CNS drug discovery and development
“Early-stage drug research is the engine that drives progress in treating Alzheimer’s and CNS diseases,” said Dr. Howard Fillit, M.D., executive director and chief science officer of the ADDF. “We are excited to provide a resource specifically designed to facilitate connections that fuel this engine. Every scientific discovery gets us closer to finding a treatment.”

“Eliminating the laborious, resource-intensive process of finding and negotiating with CROs and other service providers helps researchers focus on their important work, and that’s what Science Exchange is all about,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Science Exchange. “We are thrilled to partner with the ADDF on this new ACCESS website that will give scientists specializing in CNS diseases the tools and services they need to bring important, potentially life-saving drugs to market faster.”

To learn more, visit https://www.alzdiscovery.org/addf-access

About the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
Founded in 1998 by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotech industry. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded over $100 million to fund more than 500 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs and clinical trials in 18 countries. To learn more, please visit: http://www.alzdiscovery.org/.

About Science Exchange
Science Exchange is the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced research. Science Exchange provides an efficient procure-to-pay platform for ordering services from the world’s largest network of scientific service providers. Through Science Exchange, clients gain access to over 2,400 qualified service providers, all with pre-established contracts in place that protect client intellectual property and confidentiality. This increases scientists access to innovation and significantly improves their productivity because they are freed up from the administrative tasks and delays associated with sourcing, establishing and managing service provider contracts. At an organizational level, the Science Exchange enterprise program enables organizations to consolidate the long tail of research outsourcing spend into a single strategic relationship driving significant efficiency and cost savings. To date, Science Exchange has raised over $30 million from Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, OATV, the YC Continuity Fund, and others. For more information, visit www.scienceexchange.com.

SOURCE Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

Related Links

http://www.alzdiscovery.org

Service Providers Aim for Cancer Moonshot at AACR 2017

April 7, 2017 | Posted by Diana Truong in Conferences, Drug Discovery, Events, Helpful products, New Innovations, Research |

Greetings from the AACR Annual Meeting!

This year, we heard Joe Biden’s report on the progress of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative, compared immuno-oncology combination therapies, and mulled over the use of CRISPR screening to finding epigenetically controlled loci.

Joe Biden delivers the Cancer Moonshot Initiative update at AACR 2017

We also checked out the groundbreaking research being done by service providers on the Science Exchange network. Their work directly addresses the recommendations made last fall by the Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel, and we are excited to give cancer researchers rapid access to these technologies through the Science Exchange platform!

Here are a few highlights from our exploration of #AACR17:

First humanized mouse model of tumor growth in bone: Pharmatest and Taconic Biosciences

The Moonshot Initiative’s recommendations specifically called out the potential of humanized mouse models to recapitulate the cellular architecture and heterogeneity found in human tumors. Traditional preclinical models that lack functional interactions between tumor, immune system and microenvironment have not been effective at predicting safety and efficacy of immunomodulating cancer drugs.

Taconic Biosciences showcases its novel animal models at AACR 2017

Pharmatest Services, Ltd. and Taconic Biosciences, both leaders in the development of predictive animal models, presented a poster at AACR 2017 showing the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in the bone injection site of humanized mice. The observed tumor growth, bone remodeling, and infiltration by human immune cells were similar to that seen in human breast cancer patients suffering from bone metastases.

Validation of this mouse model would be a very promising development for preclinical testing of immuno-oncology drug candidates and combination therapies.

 

Mass spectrometry imaging to characterize tumor microenvironment: Imabiotech

Imabiotech’s novel mass spectrometry imaging technology provides better toxicity and efficacy assessments in a number of therapeutic research areas, including immuno-oncology.

One challenge facing the Cancer Moonshot Initiative is that novel technologies are required to address tumor heterogeneity (at the cellular and molecular levels). Thus, the Blue Ribbon Panel called out multiplexed, quantitative imaging as a promising way to connect function with localization.

Imabiotech Corporation is a widely-published expert in the emerging field of mass spectrometry imaging, which is a promising technology to address tumor heterogeneity. Their poster and exhibit at AACR 2017 showcased how mass spectrometry imaging could be used to quantitatively characterize responses to immunotherapy in the tumor microenvironment, with spatial resolution.


Toward 3D patient-derived models of breast cancer, lung cancer, and glioblastoma: KIYATEC, Inc.

Another of the most challenging aspects of oncology is the fact that each patient has a different response to a particular therapy. Recognizing this, the Moonshot Initiative’s recommendations included a call to establish patient-derived test models, such as organoids and xenografts, in which candidate drugs could be tested before treatment.

KIYATEC presents 3D cell-based models for drug response profiling at AACR 2017

KIYATEC, whose expertise lies in generating and using 3D cell-based models for drug response profiling, presented their work on breast cancer, lung cancer, and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), in three posters at AACR 2017.

One study addressed the challenges facing small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients, for whom surgical resection is rarely feasible. Therefore, patient-derived tissue is difficult to obtain. KIYATEC was able to isolate functional cancer stem cells and circulating tumor cells, label-free, from SCLC patients, with the aim of developing 3D microtumors from these cells.

KIYATEC also showed that 3D models of breast cancer, which incorporated multiple stromal cell types and immune cells, responded differently to immune checkpoint inhibitors than standard 2D cell culture models. Finally, KIYATEC tackled GBM, for which therapy is particularly confounded by intra-tumor and inter-patient heterogeneity. They developed an efficient method to develop patient-derived 3D models, which may enable more personalized treatments for GBM.

Interested in working with these service providers? Order services on Science Exchange today, or contact us about your project.

Meet Service Providers with ADC (Antibody-Drug Conjugate) Expertise

March 22, 2017 | Posted by Diana Truong in Drug Discovery, Education, New Innovations, Research |

Chemical structure of “emtansine” (mertansine plus linker) linked to a monoclonal antibody (maytansine black, mertansine modification red, linker blue.

The excitement around ADCs for treating cancer stems from the realization that traditional, small-molecule cytotoxic drugs and radiation are still some of the most potent anticancer agents, and that targeting them by tethering them to antibodies might bypass some of the side effects.

The recent founding investment by Johnson & Johnson of the ADC-focused startup, Fusion Pharmaceuticals, may provide some momentum to the development of targeted radiotherapeutics, a specific type of ADC. Johnson & Johnson’s investment followed on the heels of recent ADC investments by other large pharmas, including Boehringer Ingelheim and AstraZeneca. IMMU-132, the ADC being developed by Immunomedics, and SGN-LIV1A from Seattle Genetics are ADCs that are reported to target triple-negative breast cancer.

The biopharmaceutical industry currently has over two dozen ADC candidates estimated to be in its pipeline, indicating that there is a current demand for scientists with specific expertise in the techniques required for designing, synthesizing, and studying these molecules. In addition to developing expertise in-house, companies are frequently partnering with smaller companies or outsourcing projects to service providers to get the work done.

At Science Exchange, we have a unique bird’s-eye view of ADC-focused research and the service providers that are facilitating progress in this exciting field. Researchers who order services using the Science Exchange marketplace gain rapid access to an innovative network of 3,000+ service providers, including a number that supports ADC studies, through a single contract with Science Exchange. In this blog post, we’ll go through some of the key techniques and show how featured service providers in our network are meeting needs of ADC researchers.

Key techniques for studying ADCs: Science Exchange service providers step up.

Target discovery: the abundance challenge

Many ADC research programs seek to target cell surface proteins that are unique to the cell type that is to be killed by the cytotoxin. However, cell surface proteins, and other ADC targets, are usually low in abundance and underrepresented in traditional proteomic measurements.

One of the newest, cutting-edge providers on the Science Exchange network is Biognosys, offering discovery proteomics solutions based on Hyper Reaction Monitoring (HRM-MS™), a Next Generation proteomics technology. Invented at Biognosys, HRM-MS delivers quantification of up to 9’000 proteins per sample across treatments or conditions and identifies significantly regulated proteins. This platform is ideal for ADC target discovery studies, with one proof-of-concept study showing the quantification of over 500 cell surface proteins from matched biopsy samples.

The conjugation challenge

The ideal linker between the antibody and the cytotoxin drug is stable in the bloodstream, and if needed, can be cleaved in the specific environment of the target. Some ADC linkers are designed to dissolve the the reducing environment of the cytosol, while others require specific enzymes of certain subcellular compartments. Other linkers are non-cleavable. The linker also has to have minimal toxicity.

In addition to some wizardry in chemical synthesis, ADC development therefore requires experience in cell-based assays and drug metabolism studies. WuXi Apptec, MabPlex, and ChemPartner are service providers listed on the Science Exchange marketplace that have worked side by side with ADC developers on all aspects of linker synthesis and characterization.

Conjugation-related services that WuXi ApptecChemPartner and MabPlex provide include but are not limited to:

  • Cytotoxin development
  • Linker development
  • Linker and cytotoxin conjugations
  • Drug linking site determination
  • Stability studies for ADC products

 

Bioanalysis in ADC development: the heterogeneity challenge

Unlike other categories of drug molecules, ADCs can be structurally heterogeneous, because of dynamic drug:antibody ratios (DAR) and variations in linker attachment chemistry. In a recent survey, 69% of researchers cited this structural heterogeneity as the #1 challenge facing bioanalysis in ADC development.

85% of the surveyed researchers reported using LC-MS for ADC bioanalysis. However, over 24% respondents had to adapt traditional LC-MS methods, using affinity capture LC-MS or accelerator MS. 42% of respondents reported using ligand-binding assays, illustrating that most researchers use more than one technique in analyzing ADCs. The complexity of analytes, in combination with the lack of regulatory guidance around ADC analysis, have resulted in the need to use multiple, individually developed, methods.

Fortunately, the Science Exchange marketplace features the services of Biognosys, Anaquant, and ChemPartner, all of which provide experience in developing analytical methods for ADCs.

To address the challenge of quantifying multiple species per sample, Biognosys provides targeted proteomics services using Multiple and Parallel Reaction Monitoring (MRM and PRM), which are techniques that offer highly specific and sensitive multiplexed quantification of selected proteins from complex biological samples. These techniques deliver absolute or relative quantification of up to 150 target proteins per run with a dynamic range of 6 orders of magnitude.

Countless other service providers, such as Bio-Synthesis, Bionova, and Maine Biotechnology Services, are experts in analyzing ADCs using ligand-binding assays. In addition, Science Exchange’s in-house regulatory compliance team has expertise in working with representatives from regulatory agencies, to ensure that the analytical services carried out by our service providers meet necessary requirements.
ADC bioanalysis services on the Science Exchange marketplace include:

  • DAR (drug:antibody ratio) determination
  • Residual free drug analysis
  • Pharmacokinetics (PK) determination

 

Process development for ADC

Again, the heterogeneity of a batch of ADC can make it challenging to develop a scalable, reproducible, and robust manufacturing process. Manufacturing the antibody component of the ADC faces all the same challenges as does traditional therapeutic mAb production.

Given the demands of manufacturing, engineering quality by design is important in the nonclinical, preclinical and early clinical phases of ADC research. Expertise in antibody optimization, protein purification, and chemical synthesis are required to create less heterogeneous batches of antibodies, linkers, cytotoxins and conjugates.

Science Exchange service providers WuXi Apptec, MabPlex and ChemPartner all support ADC process development, with MabPlex’s services extending to GMP and scale-up (to kilogram scale).

Browse our marketplace for ADC-related services or contact our Concierge Service, who can match your project needs with the right service provider or a combination of service providers to move your ADC research forward.

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