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Crown Bioscience strengthens immuno-oncology platform
August 2016
by Lori Lesko  |  Email the author
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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Aimed at becoming a center of excellence for immunotherapy preclinical research, drug discovery company Crown Bioscience has met higher client demand by strengthening its global immuno-oncology platform in the United States, Europe and Asia, providing translational platforms to advance oncology and metabolic disease research and collecting myriad validated models and services for in-vivo pharmacodynamic and efficacy studies.
 
“In response to the growing demand for immuno-oncology translational services, CrownBio is now able to offer at our local facilities immunophenotyping analysis, multicolor flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and multiplex ELISA on our world-leading collection of immuno-oncology models, to rapidly profile and investigate the impact of experimental therapies on both murine and human immune systems,” says Dr. Jean-Pierre Wery, CrownBio president.
 
CrownBio’s unique collections of well-characterized and validated syngeneic models profiled for checkpoint inhibitors, as well as the novel MiXeno, MuPrime, HuGEMM and humanized PDX platforms, can all be extensively profiled using these immunophenotyping capacities for both pretreatment baseline and post treatment pharmacodynamic readouts to understand the impact on the immune system, Wery says.
 
“In particular, single-cell-based FACS analysis has become a standard and essential tool to investigate the impact of immuno-oncology therapy in both murine and humanized systems in the preclinical setting,” says Henry Li, vice president of translational oncology at CrownBio.
 
“Our ability to perform FACS analysis locally as part of our in-vivo services offering will undoubtedly represent a key add-on technology for our clients,” Li says. “The ability to gate different sub-populations of T lymphocytes and myeloid compartment provides a rapid way for our clients to understand the impact of both single and combination therapies to significantly extend the reach of potential therapeutic effect across a larger population of patients, further confirming the commitment of CrownBio to become a center of excellence for immunotherapy preclinical research.”
 
Further upgrading its oncology services, on July 7, CrownBio launched its OmniScreen Cell Panel Screening Platform, a new versatile cell line screening service for oncology drug discovery programs. The OmniScreen cell panel screening platform will be run on a cycled schedule every three months, allowing clients to select from three panels of cell lines that are most suitable for their needs, rather than one at a time. Company officials believe this streamlined approach provides a more cost-effective solution for researchers because it runs multiple compounds simultaneously on a fixed schedule, so clients are getting more in less time. The service also increases the flexibility of screening and template designs to meet the needs of a wider range of clients.
 
“Researchers enrolling their compounds in OmniScreen will be given access to a private, secure online account where they can observe their data in real time to generate reports for further analysis,” explains Qian Shi, vice president of cancer pharmacology and in-vitro cancer biology at CrownBio.
 
The OmniScreen includes three specialty subpanels, including OmniPanel, XenoSelect panel and RNAseq Panel, and includes a total of 352 cancer cell lines, supporting expedited screening for drug response across genomically diverse cancer lines. XenoSelect includes 158 cancer cell lines, from which CrownBio has already developed corresponding xenograft models, to move lead compounds from in-vitro to in-vivo testing, the company says. RNAseq Panel has 139 cancer cell lines that are better aimed to biomarker discovery.
 
“Given its flexibility and cost-effectiveness, OmniScreen will change the way our clients evaluate their compounds,” Shi says. “By accessing detailed genomic data in real time, we can provide a path to convert lead compounds into clinical candidates.”
 
CrownBio also made a splash at Showcasing New Models and Services at the 76th American Diabetes Association (ADA) meeting, where the company exhibited its new cardiovascular, renal and metabolic disease models, which include the most amenable models available for translational research in the field. The authors of four CrownBio scientific posters presented their data to the ADA conference attendees on June 12 and 13. Additionally, CrownBio’s research poster on the effects of anesthesia on insulin release was selected for publication in the June 2016 supplement to the journal Diabetes.
 
The company has long been at the forefront of cardiovascular and metabolic disease research and is now providing an expanded range of solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, including discovery services, analytical services, ADME/PK services and safety/non-GLP toxicology services, alongside a unique collection of genetic models, company officials report.
 
Also, San Diego has been named CrownBio’s U.S. Center of Excellence for Oncology, to support increasing demand for oncology research studies. A 22,000-square-foot facility more than triples its original capacity, adding multiple holding rooms and formulation space.
 
“By expanding our U.S. Center of Excellence for Oncology, we have enhanced both our capabilities and capacity, to meet the increased demand for the types of oncology research critical to public health,” Wery remarks. “This expansion enables scientists to isolate and compartmentalize incoming projects, including separate suites for work with infectious agents. This expansion also improves CrownBio’s ability to minimize contamination risk, while protecting data integrity of the study.”
 
This expanded San Diego facility “will enable CrownBio to continue to offer our clients the timelines and responsiveness they demand, and at the same time allow us to optimize resource and capacity management in the U.S.,” according to Mike Prosser, CrownBio’s general manager of European and North American operations. “By creating a single Center of Excellence in North America, we can now deliver the highest-quality research from a truly state-of-the art facility.”
 
Code: E081626

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