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Organovo and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Announce Collaboration in Cancer Research

Organovo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ONVO) (“Organovo”), a creator and manufacturer of functional, three-dimensional human tissues for medical research and therapeutic applications, and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), a national leader in translational oncology research, have formed a collaboration to develop more clinically predictive in vitro three dimensional cancer models which will ultimately advance discovery of novel cancer therapeutics. New biological models that more accurately replicate human cancer and malignant disease are desperately needed to enhance our understanding of how cancer develops and migrates and to deliver better oncology therapies for patients.

“The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is consistently on the leading edge of cancer research, delivering true therapeutic breakthroughs like Gleevec,” said Keith Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer at Organovo. “The knowledge and experience of the team at OHSU will be critical as we work together to create advanced models of cancer and metastasis that more reliably predict the safety and effectiveness of new therapeutics.”

Today, animal models and cancer cell lines are used to identify and test potential drug candidates, but these tools have known limitations in their ability to predict clinical outcomes. More accurate and representative human disease models have the potential to improve drug discovery and development for a number of diseases, including cancer. By applying breakthrough bioprinting technology, Organovo develops three-dimensional, architecturally correct, human disease models to improve the understanding of drug toxicity and efficacy earlier in the drug development process, enabling safer, more effective therapies.

“A major challenge in oncology research today is that animal models cannot accurately represent human physiology, and cell lines do not provide information on how cells act in a three-dimensional, native architecture,” said renowned cancer researcher Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB), Gordon Moore chair of Biomedical Engineering in the OHSU School of Medicine and associate director for translational research for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “Using Organovo’s bioprinting technologies, we plan to create new models to understand cancer disease mechanisms and metastatic progression, which can be used to discover and test new targeted therapies.”

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D., added, “Better research models lead to a deeper understanding of disease mechanisms and more accurate information in the preclinical drug discovery and development process.

We believe new technologies, like bioprinting, are important for producing more relevant models of cancer and metastasis to ultimately support the discovery of new therapeutics.”

Source: Oregon Health & Science University

GNS Healthcare, Covance Team on Data-Driven Personalized Medicine

GNS Healthcare today said that it will collaborate with contract research organization Covance on developing data-driven models to assist pharmaceutical firms in optimizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of drug development.

Cambridge Healthtech Associates and Nucro-Technics Announce Results of Market Research Investigation

Cambridge Healthtech Associates (CHA), the organizers of the Drug Safety Executive Council, and Nucro-Technics, a full-service Contract Support Organization, recently announced the results of a survey focused on a market evaluation of a new biomarker tool to predict adverse events. The goal of this market research project was to provide industry feedback on a novel fee-for-service assay for use in the evaluation of the potential toxicity of new drug candidates.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation Extends Funding for KineMed’s Brain-Process Biomarker Research for Parkinson’s Disease

KineMed, Inc. announced today a further award of $1.2 Million from The Michael J. Fox Foundation towards the ongoing development of kinetic biomarkers that drug developers can use to accelerate and reduce the cost of trials of treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Compugen and Merck Serono Ventures to Jointly Establish New Biomarker Company Neviah Genomics Ltd.

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, and Compugen Ltd. (NASDAQ: CGEN) today announced the establishment of Neviah Genomics, a novel start-up company focused on the discovery and development of novel biomarkers for the prediction of drug-induced toxicity. Neviah Genomics will be operating out of the Merck Serono Israel Bioincubator. Merck Serono Ventures will provide the initial funding for Neviah Genomics. Compugen will utilize certain proprietary predictive discovery technologies and receive an equity ownership in the new company and a right to royalties from potential future sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.