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Cancer model metadata
CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Repositive, a startup company that connects researchers with preclinical cancer models for drug development programs, has made its models publicly browsable during the relaunch of its Cancer Models Platform. The company hopes to accelerate the availability of potentially life-saving cancer therapies to the clinic.
The online directory enables pharma, biotech and academic researchers to browse the metadata of 5,300 cancer models from the company’s contract research organization (CRO) partners. Researchers can then request access to supporting data to source models that are predictive of patient response.
To address the difficult and time-consuming task of sourcing preclinical models with precise molecular and genomic profiles, Repositive has developed relationships with 18 CROs worldwide to create what the company claims is the world’s largest directory of preclinical cancer models. Using its tailored and confidential Cancer Models Scout service, Repositive is enabling researchers to gain access to high-quality models with the characteristics they need to provide evidence to support their drug development programs.
According to Fiona Nielsen, CEO of Repositive, “As part of our commitment to providing scientists with access to the data they need to advance biomedical research, we’re proud to have made our directory publicly browsable via the Repositive website. Our new Cancer Models Platform will enable pharma and biotech researchers to find models they’ve been struggling to source, discover alternative models that might be better suited to their experiment and explore some of the latest models and technologies on offer. This is the first stage of relaunching our Cancer Models Platform; we’re currently working closely with industry researchers to develop a platform that will best support their preclinical studies and are looking forward to releasing new features and adding more models to the online directory shortly.”
Repositive’s online marketplace, known as the Cancer Models Platform, allows researchers to find and compare cancer models from different providers. The free online directory enables scientists to easily search by tumor location for patient-derived and cell line-derived xenograft models, syngeneic and humanized mouse models, cell lines and organoids. After selecting a tumor location, researchers can see the list of models available from various preclinical oncology CROs around the world, including metadata detailing the model’s primary site, subtype and tumor origin. Because model validation is an important requirement when selecting a preclinical cancer model, the new online directory also allows researchers to see what additional data is available for each model—such as genomic, drug response and growth curve data—to identify a model most predictive of clinical response.
After identifying a model of interest through the online directory, researchers can contact Repositive’s molecular biology and bioinformatics experts by means of an online form to request more information or request access to supporting data. Through its confidential Cancer Models Scout service, Repositive can offer the additional data requested, conduct more in-depth genomic and molecular queries of models as needed, and introduce researchers to their chosen CRO(s) for further discussion and project planning.
“Our collaboration with Repositive has been a very successful driver of growth for NexusPharma and we are excited to expand on it further as we add new PDX [patient-derived xenograft] models to address unmet medical need,” said Vladimir Khazak, chief scientific officer of Nexus Pharma (now part of Genesis Drug Discovery and Development).
Repositive, founded in 2014, secured its first round of external investment in 2015 to develop a public platform, which catalogs more than 1 million genomic research datasets from more than 50 global data sources and has an international user base of academia and industry researchers. In December 2016, Repositive announced the development of the Global PDX Directory to act as a global data broker and network for oncology researchers and PDX model developers.
A year later, the Repositive platform was selected to contribute metadata search and indexing technology to the NIH Data Commons Pilot Consortium. In April 2018, the PDX Directory became the Cancer Models Platform. Its scope was expanded to incorporate CDX, syngeneic and humanized mouse models, as well as 3D in-vitro systems and other translational cancer models that support immuno-oncology and combination therapies. Repositive has partnered with 18 specialist CROs worldwide, including Antineo, Shanghai LIDE and Xentech.