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Product News

Novel 3D Cell-based Assays Accelerate Discovery for Immuno-oncology/CAR-T Therapies

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Product News

Novel 3D Cell-based Assays Accelerate Discovery for Immuno-oncology/CAR-T Therapies

Credit: InSphero

InSphero AG highlighted the unique advantages of its physiologically relevant 3D InSight™ Microtissue Platform to drive more efficient development of anti-cancer drugs and immuno-oncology (I-O) approaches at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The presentations included data generated in collaboration with academic, government, and industry partners.   


“Our presentations at this year’s AACR meeting display not only the variety and complexity of tumor models we can produce through our Custom Tumor Microtissue Development Service, but also the breadth of applications for which they can be used throughout the drug development pipeline,“ said Dr. Jens Kelm, InSphero Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder. “These range from early discovery screens in cell-line based 3D microtissue models in 384-well format to more complex pre-clinical development and validation studies, using co-cultures of fibroblasts with cancer cell lines or patient-derived xenograft (PDX) samples.”


In addition, InSphero presented data demonstrating the infiltration of activated immune cells, such as peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), into tumor-stromal co-culture models. “Recent successes in I-O therapies for blood-borne cancers has triggered the race in pharma for similar strategies targeting solid tumors,” Dr. Kelm said. “Our technology provides the first turnkey 3D platform for mimicking complex solid tumor environments in vitro. It is designed specifically for the development and optimization of CAR-T, CAR-NK, or immunomodulatory based I-O strategies.” InSphero scientists recently showed that activated PBMCs can penetrate tumor-stromal microtissues and specifically kill tumor cells. The findings were published in a collaborative study with Roche Pharmaceutical and ETH Zurich in the January 2017 issue of the journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy.


“We have presented work done in collaboration with the University of Zurich as well, where we’ve created microtissues directly from patient tumor biopsy material,” Dr. Kelm said. “This approach holds potential for in vitro testing in the clinical phase to help identify a personalized treatment plan using drugs most effective against the biopsied material cultured in 3D.”


In addition to custom model development, InSphero offers 3D InSight™ Oncology Services, including single or combinatorial drug testing, tumor relapse, and antibody penetration assays, all of which can be conducted on customized tumor microtissues, or on established tumor-stromal co-culture models. 

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