Charles River offers more in vitro oncology services via InSphero’s 3D solutions

Charles River Laboratories, which already has more than 400 fully characterized patient-derived xenographs (PDXs), will expand its in vitro discovery and development services using InSphero’s 3D technology.

Under a new deal, Charles River will license its PDX tumors to InSphero, and in return, InSphero will provide its 3D cell culture capabilities and help Charles River build in vitro 3D tumor microtissues derived from these PDXs.

InSphero uses a scaffold-free 3D microtissue technology, which allows cells to self-assemble into 3D assay-ready microtissues. On its website, the company touts the technology as being able to “facilitate reliable, reproducible and scalable production of microtissues from a variety of tissue types.”

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Because PDX models conserve original tumor characteristics, the technology is believed to be more accurate in assisting evaluation of the efficacy of cancer therapies as compared with traditional cell lines. Following that feature, 3D cell culture systems, compared to 2D cell culture, “represent more accurately the actual microenvironment where cells reside in tissues,” and therefore have the advantages in “providing more physiologically relevant information and more predictive data for in vivo tests,” a 2014 study appeared in the journal Assay and Drug Development Technologies stated.

In vitro 3D testing offered by InSphero include toxicology services and oncology drug discovery based on custom tumor microtissues. Such in vitro testing provides for identification of the most promising drug candidates, tumor histotypes and molecular subtypes.

Charles River described in a statement that “data collected in these tests can then be used to select PDX models for subsequent in vivo efficacy tests. The data can also be used to run systematic combination therapy studies over a range of concentrations and to correlate the tumor response with molecular data.”

The CRO giant has made several investments in its PDXs recently. Last November, it formed a partnership with Dutch CRO OcellO, also using the latter’s 3D cell culture drug-screening platform on its PDXs. And in May, it enhanced its library of PDXs by adding more molecular characteristics.