Preclinical Oncology Services (PRECOS), a pre-clinical research and development service provider focused on oncology, has been awarded a license to store and research human tissue samples by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).
PRECOS will now be able to quickly and easily access patient tissue directly, allowing for greater access to samples for oncology model development by acquiring tissues for specific projects and cutting edge research. It also allows PRECOS and its customers greater scope for research opportunities across many cancer types. PRECOS utilizes methodology to retain the stromal elements of patient tissue which is important for sustaining heterogeneity and proper ligand-receptor interactions in cancer models which can then be used in a proprietary 3D tumour growth assay (TGA).
PRECOS has already established itself in the area of preclinical patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) modeling and possesses a collection that is widely believed to be more authentic, offering closer representation to the clinical setting. With increasing focus on subset specific panels of PDX for targeted therapies, genetic profiling and histological heterogeneity are paramount in recapitulating the clinical situation. Retention of the human stroma component in these models provides a more relevant heterogeneous system in which human tumor and stromal cells are in close co-operation within a unique microenvironment, thereby providing the right context to accurately and robustly evaluate the efficacy of a new therapeutic agent.
While the company has a primary focus in lung cancer PDX subsets, the acquisition of the HTA license will enable PRECOS to now invest in other cancer types, including breast and hematopoietic, to create panels of subtype specific PDX models with clinical information and original patient material for target identification, validation, through to lead optimization. The HTA license will also allow PRECOS to collect patient material in addition to tumor tissue, such as blood samples, normal tissue and other bodily fluids which can be used for biomarker assessment and more specific requirements such as assessment of circulating tumor cells. Direct access allows supply of samples to be tightly controlled and delivered with a specific protocol and timeframe and under the appropriate ethical review and consent. This means clients of PRECOS will now have a broader access to early-stage patient samples for specific studies as and when they are needed, offering greater flexibility and confidence.
Rajendra Kumari, COO of PRECOS, said, “Now we are able to procure, store and test a large number of samples sourced from Western societies, thereby enhancing the availability of Caucasian patient tissues and widening the geographical base and patient population of samples for our clients in U.K., Europe and U.S.”