AstraZeneca and Champions Oncology Partner on Xenograft R&D Models

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AstraZeneca and Champions will develop new cohorts of patient-derived xenograft models to be used in oncology programs in breast and lung cancer as well as for use in other academic and industry applications.

Champions Oncology (Hackensack, NJ), a provider of technology solutions and products for the personalized development and use of oncology drugs, announced on August 21, 2017, that it has entered a strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop new cohorts of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. These models will be used in AstraZeneca’s oncology R&D programs in breast and lung cancer, in addition to being added to Champions’ existing TumorGraft bank for translational oncology research for academic and industry applications. Champions’ global network of collaborating sites will be used to support this multi-year initiative.

These new models will expand Champions’ bank of estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) metastatic breast cancer and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer PDX models. Both cohorts will focus on the metastatic, previously treated setting and will enable a better understanding of mechanisms of resistance, providing an important platform to optimize drug development in these settings. Full clinical and molecular annotation will be available to enable model selection for testing innovative therapies, investigating new and existing pathways, and identifying biomarkers.

Steve Fawell, vice-president and head of Oncology Science at AstraZeneca, said in a company press release, “this collaboration with Champions is allowing us to develop and characterize tumor models representing the drug refractory and drug resistant state, a surprisingly underserved space in cancer biology and drug development with most current cell line and PDX models being derived from diagnostic untreated patient samples. They will be pivotal to understanding drug resistance mechanisms and the development of next-generation drugs.”


“We are excited to be partnering with AstraZeneca to support their translational oncology needs. This collaboration represents another dimension in our capabilities to deliver a specific cohort of PDX models to clients to support drug development portfolios in key areas. These unique models reflect current standard of care and are not widely available. These new models, in addition to our large existing TumorGraft bank, continue to be a valuable and cost-effective tool for the pharmaceutical industry in their pre-clinical and clinical drug development research,” said Angela Davies, MD, chief medical officer, Champions, in the press release.

Source: Champions Oncology