Headaches could have impaired the success of potential cancer drug AMG 337; human tissue studies rescued it

It is not uncommon that at a late-stage of drug development (especially during the clinical testing) unforeseen toxicities and/or poor efficacy are observed. This is often, but not only, due to the limitations of the off-target screening used by pharma (the so-called secondary pharmacology). Although still useful for quickly screening a relatively high number of potential off-target hits, these screening studies, often used by pharmaceutical companies, are in the form of a proprietary set of in vitro methods biased and/or tailored for the specific molecule background of the drug candidate. Often, this does not allow evaluation in a clinical context and can contribute to the high rate of drug failures (attrition rate) at a later stage of the drug discovery process. This is a costly “Achilles heel” for the pharmaceutical industry[1].

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An Improved Model for IBD Drug Discovery

Animal models have been used for years to provide proof of concept for new therapies, however there are major flaws which need to be addressed. Studies using mouse models cannot accurately predict patient response to a new compound. Translatability requires a suitable model which will reduce attrition rates in phase II and III clinical trials which are proving to be of detriment to R&D productivity[1].

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Application of Pharmacogenomics and Bioinformatics to Exemplify the Utility of Human ex vivo Organoculture Models in the Field of Precision Medicine

It is well recognised that one size does not fit all when it comes to the treatment of many diseases. Getting the right drug to the right patient at the right dose has become the focus of precision medicine, which provides hope that patients may receive the most appropriate treatment sooner, improving their quality of life and reducing the support required from health care systems and wider society[1]. Health economists are recognising the potential of precision medicine and are beginning to apply the concept to their research[2].

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Will The Microbiome Become The Next Hot Topic For Cancer Research?

From obesity and Crohn’s disease to cancer, investigations into the microbiota and microbiome are opening up numerous avenues of research. The human microbiota, composed of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, eukaryotic microbes and many different species which occupy the human body[1], and the study of the associated microbial genomes, are generating increasing numbers of publications.

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TISSUE SPOTLIGHT: Lung

This issue, we are casting the REPROCELL Tissue Spotlight on the LUNG.

The lungs are the central organs of the human respiratory system enabling you to take around 25,000 breaths a day — mostly, without any conscious thought that you are doing so!

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Improving patient outcomes through collaboration

The return on R&D investments in the UK is at its lowest rate in nine years, despite Britain’s global presence in science, technology and health. Pharmaceutical attrition rates continue to rise, and the UK biotech landscape remains fragmented. Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) aims to connect the UK R&D community more effectively by putting the patient at the heart of the drug discovery process. As part of our collaboration with the MDC, REPROCELL have pledged to provide custom drug discovery assays using live human tissues.

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Using human iPSCs as an in vitro model for regenerative medicine, drug screening and disease modelling

In translational medicine, research using primary patient samples is advantageous over cell lines as the expression of the protein under investigation is regulated by native elements in primary samples.

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TISSUE SPOTLIGHT: Skin

In this issue, we are casting the REPROCELL Tissue Spotlight on the SKIN.

In humans, the largest organ in the body is the skin layer, accounting for up to 15% of the total body weight and a surface area of up to 2m2. It is composed of several layers — the epidermis, dermis and the sub-cutaneous layer, the hypodermis — each crucial to the many functions of the skin ranging from a protective barrier for internal tissues and organs, through regulation of body temperature and nutrient absorption, to the generation of vitamin D.

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TISSUE SPOTLIGHT: Intestines

In this issue, we are casting the REPROCELL Tissue Spotlight on the INTESTINES.

The intestines (large and small) are vital organs in the gastrointestinal tract of our digestive system. Comprising a winding muscular tube extending from the stomach to the anus the main purpose is to digest food and absorb nutrients. The intestines also have a key role to play in the processes of cellular messaging, fighting infection and in regulating the body’s water balance.

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The Human Touch: meeting clinical needs in IBD research

There is a clinical need for novel therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Current research is however limited by models which do not physiologically mimic the disease in humans. REPROCELL’s Human IBD Fresh Tissue Assay is the most clinically relevant IBD model on the market and the only commercially available assay of its kind.

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