Preclinical research models

Pharmatest Services offers preclinical research models designed to prove efficacy of drug candidates for oncology and skeletal diseases.

These full-service solutions provide high-quality and effective study set-ups, which ensure compliance with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Solutions include cell culture assays and animal models designed to emphasise predictivity and clinical relevance.

Pharmatest also provides optimised studies for functional foods and biosimilars.

Efficacy testing of new cancer drugs

Pharmatest’s in vitro cancer cell assays are fast and reliable screening tools for identifying compounds that inhibit proliferation or invasion of cancer cell lines. Efficacy of the identified compounds is confirmed using animal models with the same cell lines.

Cancer animal models of Pharmatest include orthotopic and metastasis models, which provide the proper tumour microenvironment that affects tumour growth, metastasis, and drug resistance. This is an improvement from commonly used subcutaneous models, which lack the required microenvironment.

Pharmatest provides cancer animal models with both human and mouse cancer cell lines. Xenograft models use human cancer cell lines, which require the use of immunocompromised animals to allow growth of the human cells in mice. Syngeneic models use mouse cancer cell lines that can grow in mice with normal immune systems, allowing to test the efficacy of immunomodulators.

Pharmatest is currently evaluating humanised mouse models in the context of cancer research, with a primary interest on bone metastasis. These mice are engrafted with human hematopoietic stem cells, which potentially mature to cover the whole cascade of human immune system. This model provides a new and important platform for immuno-oncology drug discovery.

Skeletal disease models

Pharmatest provides in vitro bone cell assays and animal models of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The assays can be used to identify compounds that decrease bone resorption or increase bone formation. The effects can be confirmed in the skeletal disease animal models.

In vitro bone cell assays can also be used for identifying compounds that may be effective in cancer-induced bone diseases.

Pharmatest’s osteoporosis animal models include rat and mouse ovariectomy (OVX) models of postmenopausal osteoporosis, orchidectomy (ORX) models of male osteoporosis, and a mouse model of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. According to regulatory guidelines of the FDA and the EMA, rat OVX models should be used for testing efficacy of novel therapies for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Osteoarthritis animal models of Pharmatest include a rat monoiodoacetate (MIA) model where osteoarthritis is caused chemically by intra-articular injection of MIA, and the surgically induced OA models in rats by medial meniscal tear (MMT) and medial collateral ligament transection (MCLT), by anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT), and by ACLT and partial medial meniscectomy (pMMx). Pharmatest also provides rabbit OA models where OA is induced surgically by pMMX or ACLT operations.

Bone analysis services

The following bone analysis methods are included in different disease models and are also offered as a standalone service:

  • Micro-computed tomography (CT)
  • Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT)
  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Radiographic imaging and image analysis
  • Full-service bone histomorphometry
  • Processing tissue samples for histological analysis
  • Biomechanical testing of bone strength
  • Bone ash weight analysis
  • Biochemical markers of bone turnover