Cancer Models Forum

Posted by Justyna, May 2020

4 challenges we're working to solve with the preclinical oncology community

At Repositive our objective is to constantly improve our Cancer Models Platform to better serve the needs of our customers; both preclinical oncology researchers and our valued CRO partners. We focus on customer-driven development, putting the needs of our end users at the forefront of every change we make or new feature we add to our platform. In order to achieve this, we are in constant contact with the preclinical oncology community - bioinformaticians, researchers, project managers and procurement specialists - to hear their challenges, requirements, goals and feedback. We gather this insight through our expert, tailored and confidential Cancer Models Scout service and directly via our platform, and we have also recently established Product Development Partnerships with a number of biopharma companies (both big and small) across the globe.

Here I’ll be sharing four key challenges that researchers like yourself face and how we’ll be helping to solve these by adding new features to our Cancer Models Platform over the coming months.

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Repositive Cancer Models Platform Roadmap graphic

1. Enhanced confidence in a CRO’s expertise and animal welfare standards

Finding a preclinical cancer model is more than just placing an order with a vendor - you need to be confident in the expertise and animal welfare standards of a CRO to ensure that your project is in safe hands. By talking to preclinical oncology researchers, we have identified just how important it is for you to not only have the right molecular and drug treatment data about a model, but also the necessary background information about a supplier. Therefore, we are currently working to add information, such as accreditation and animal welfare standards, for each of the model vendors listed on our platform for peace of mind when choosing a CRO partner.

2. Easier identification of models for specific patient subgroups

With age and gender being key risk factors for particular cancer subtypes and the increasing focus on precision medicine, identifying specific patient subgroups to test your therapy on is becoming ever important. When it comes to preclinical testing, you need a clear picture of the patient’s profile and treatment history when identifying the right patient-derived model for the hypothesis you’re looking to test. That’s why we’ll shortly be adding patient information, such as age and gender, to provide more context about where tumour samples were collected from, whilst also ensuring patient consent and confidentiality is respected.

3. More insight into a model’s genetic background

Through our Cancer Model Scout and ongoing customer interviews, we understand just how important genetic background information is when selecting a preclinical cancer model. In fact, one in every two customers ask our team of molecular biology and bioinformatics experts for gene expression data when searching for the right model for their study. As a result, we’ll also be working to add gene expression data for the models on our Cancer Model Platform to help you make a more informed decision about your model selection.

4. Tools to make selecting a CRO partner hassle free

Sourcing a model is a complex process, not to mention that there are also logistical factors that you need to take into account, such as the feasibility of shipping precious samples to a CRO. In addition, we appreciate that some biopharmas have a preference when it comes to the location of their CRO partner, particularly if they'd like to visit the site for inspections or regular meetings. To help make it easier and more manageable for you to identify a CRO partner that meets your geographical and logistical requirements, we'll be providing more insight into the CROs that we work with; for example, by adding the geographical location of each vendor to our Cancer Models Platform.

Through our collaborative product development process, we are able to better understand the specific issues you face when sourcing preclinical cancer models. In turn, we are prioritising new features over the coming months to address these challenges, including giving you more information about our CROs for increased confidence that you're selecting the right partner, as well as additional patient information and model data to help you make a more informed decision and source the right model for your study.

We're all ears Have an idea for a new feature or some feedback that you'd like to share about our Cancer Models Platform? We'd love to hear it. Just reach out to our team at cmp-help@repositive.io

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