Using its proprietary gene-engineering technology; GENESISTM, Horizon has developed the world’s first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant X-MANTM (Mutant And Normal) human disease models for accelerating the discovery of modern ‘targeted’ or ‘personalised’ cancer treatments.
A Newcastle University team led by Dr Ross Maxwell and Professor Herbie Newell will ‘mine’ a panel of X-MAN models for genotype-specific imaging biomarkers that can be used to identify the cancer genes that are involved in each tumour without the need for invasive biopsies.
As a result of this research highly-targeted and increasingly personalised drug therapies tailored to specific patient cohorts may be possible.
Dr Chris Torrance, CEO of Horizon says: “Dr Maxwell and Professor Newell’s work is addressing a major need to maximize the efficacy of current cancer treatments and direct future personalised therapies.
"We are honored that our X-MAN cancer models are being used at this critical clinical interface of developing earlier detection methods and enhanced therapy options for cancer patients.”
Newcastle University and Cancer Research UK scientist Professor Herbie Newell continues: “Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular pathology of cancer has allowed for the development of targeted therapies that exploit the underlying genetic defects that cause cancer. However, these therapies require tests or biomarkers for effective clinical use in order to match the right drug to the right patient which this collaboration will seek to address.”
Newcastle University and Cancer Research UK’s Dr Maxwell adds: “Non-invasive imaging is a key biomarker technology and the X-MAN models developed by Horizon will be invaluable for the discovery of imaging biomarkers for common cancer genes”
The work programme will begin in August 2009.
published on: 6th August 2009