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Advancing Translational Oncology

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Last week saw Crown Bioscience announce a strategic collaboration with Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica and the Chinese Academy of Sciences which will focus on translational oncology. 

We caught up with Jean Pierre Wery, President of Crown Bioscience, to learn more about the company and the aims of this partnership. 

AB: Can you please tell me a little about Crown Bioscience?

Jean Pierre Wery (JPW): Crown Bioscience is a premier drug discovery company providing cutting-edge translational platforms and cost effective drug discovery solutions for its biotech and pharmaceutical partners in dedicated therapeutic areas: Oncology and Metabolic Disease. Our proprietary discovery platforms enable unique lead optimization and translational strategies to deliver superior drug candidates. In particular, our HuTrial™ technology enable our partners to better refine their clinical trial and patient selection strategies and therefore vastly improving the probability of success of their compounds’ clinical development. Headquartered in Santa Clara California, Crown Bioscience has global operations in China (Beijing and Jiangsu Taicang), the USA (NC), UK (Nottingham), and also with business offices in the Santa Clara, Boston, Princeton, RTP, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Milan and Shanghai. For more information, please visit http://www.crownbio.com

AB: How did the agreement with Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica come about?

JPW: I believe there are great synergies between our two organizations. SIMM is very passionate about discovering and developing new medicines addressing important unmet medical needs for China and for the World, Crown is very passionate about developing and deploying new technologies to radically change the efficiency and the drug discovery and development process. SIMM had been looking for a while for a partner with technologies and capabilities that would truly make a difference and help them achieve their goals. Crown is very fortunate to be chosen as SIMM partner.

AB: What are the aims of this strategic partnership?

JPW: SIMM has an impressive pipeline with several promising new Oncology drug candidates. So, since it is known that most new drug candidates will potentially fail in early clinical development, they are looking to deploy innovative translational technologies to help them refine their clinical development and patient selection strategies. Ultimately, the goal is to make sure that the right molecule will reach and help the right patient. Crown is always interested to refine its technologies. For our HuTrial platform, where we simulate actual human clinical trials using patient derived xenograft models (PDX), access to a larger number of models and a greater diversity of models would significantly strengthen our platform. One of the goals of the new centre will be to develop and fully characterize thousands of PDX models, therefore greatly enhancing the predictive power of our translational technologies

AB: What do you envisage will be the biggest challenges the centre will face?

JPW: Last week’s announcement of the SIMM-Crown partnership is the culmination of many months of discussions. So our goals, our plans and the associated budgets have been worked out and refined in great details. So, with such level of preparation, both sides feel extremely confident that the goals will be achieved and we do not envision any significant challenges.

AB: From your website I see that Crown Bioscience have a number of strategic partners, can you tell what you look for in potential partners? 

JPW: As I mentioned before, Crown is very passionate about changing and improving the way new medicines are discovered and developed. So, we are always looking to improve the technologies and solutions we can provide to our partners. We have significant internal R&D efforts which led to the development of several key technology platforms (HuPrime®, HuKemia®, HuBase™, HuTrial™, HuSignature™, HuBank ™, HuTissue™, and HuMark™) which already have helped many of our customers. However we also know that many new interesting technical developments will happen outside of Crown. So, we are always engaged in many discussions with organization that are developing technologies that will enhanced our own platform or be very complimentary to our platforms. Again, the goal here is to ultimately provide our customers with solutions that would make their drug discovery and development efforts more successful. 

Jean Pierre Wery was speaking to Ashley Board, Managing Editor for Technology Networks. You can find Ashley on  and follow Technology Networks on Twitter.