cancer oncologyHorizon Discovery Group, the world leader in the application of gene editing technologies including in vivo and Patient-Derived Xenograft (PDX) models, and The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology and infectious diseases, announce that Horizon has taken an exclusive license to 153 of Wistar’s melanoma PDX models.

Finding predictive models for drug development is a major challenge in cancer research. PDX models are a breakthrough; they allow researchers to examine how human tumours grow and respond to drugs in a living organism. Horizon distribution of the Wistar melanoma PDX collection will allow scientists worldwide to investigate the efficacy and safety of their drugs prior to trials in human populations.

Wistar is providing a selection of PDX models representative of all previously described melanoma subtypes, making the collection one of the most comprehensive collections of well-characterized melanoma PDX models available on the market today. Horizon will offer this collection as ungrafted PDX suspensions or as the basis of in vivo efficacy studies, where clients provide test compounds and Horizon’s team of expert scientists will demonstrate their effect on PDXs grown in mice.

Dr Edward Weinstein, President, Services Business, Horizon Discovery Group, commented: “A tremendous effort is ongoing in the area of melanoma research. There are currently hundreds of research programmes under way, many of which are actively looking for the best model systems in which to test their compounds. As the exclusive provider of these highly sought-after PDX models, Horizon is in a strong position to provide our clients with these highly characterized tools and applied in vivo services they need to help inform their research and drug discovery pipelines.”

Meenhard Herlyn, DVM, DSc, Director of The Wistar Institute Melanoma Research Center and the Caspar Wistar Professor in Melanoma Research, added: “This collection of PDX models represents a highly valuable resource for conducting preclinical trials that are likely to identify novel therapeutics targeting melanoma. We are excited to be partnering with a top-notch company such as Horizon to help disseminate these models as widely as possible and support the fight against melanoma.”