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12:00 AM
 | 
May 07, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Comparing combos quickly

Millennium using Presage's mouse platform to characterize combo cancer therapies

Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. is using an in vivo screening platform from Presage Biosciences Inc. to speed up its preclinical characterization of cancer combination therapies. The platform enables simultaneous comparison of up to four treatments within a single tumor in a live mouse and could better predict efficacy than the in vitro assays that usually precede large-scale animal studies.

Typically, the first in vivo assessment of a preclinical cancer compound can occur only after optimization cycles of in vitro enzyme assays and cancer cell culture studies, because a limited amount of compound is available, according to Millennium CSO Joseph Bolen. However, it is not unusual for the activity of compounds tested in monolayer cell culture to fail to reproduce in the same cells grown as subcutaneous xenografts in rodents.

Bolen said the Presage platform should get around that problem by allowing in vivo assessment of a compound's activity in a tumor "prior to the point where the compound series is modulated to address pharmacological drug-like properties and prior to compound scale-up" for larger scale animal studies.

The platform uses a small-diameter, capillary-like delivery system to inject a precise microdose of compound directly into the solid tumors of live animals. When multiple needles are used, as many as four therapies can...

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