Preclinical research is at the core of effective drug development. Hera BioLabs is a contract research organization (CRO) utilizing revolutionary gene editing technologies to create improved preclinical models. Combining these transformative models with toxicology and efficacy studies to produce high-confidence, translational data; is what we call Precision Toxicology™ & Efficacy Screening.

Both the FDA and EPA, through their integral involvement in the TOX21 collaboration are invested in the modernization and transformation of toxicology and efficacy testing by encouraging less reliance on traditional animal models and the development of alternative models that are mechanism based, provide higher through-put and are of greater clinical relevance. To this end, Hera has successfully developed several fully severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) rat lines with applications in tumor cell line xenografts and patient derived xenograft (PDX) efficacy screening, allowing our clients to achieve accurate results.  Furthermore, the humanization of the liver and immune system in Hera’s rat models is also underway, which is expected to revolutionize human specific liver toxicity screening, the availability of human hepatocytes, and the industry’s ability to test for human specific metabolites.

Latest Hera News

Transgenic Rats as Research Models Boast Significant Benefits….

Transgenic Rats as Research Models Boast Significant Benefits over Mouse Counterparts Though much of today’s rodent-based research is performed using mouse models, the reality is that if we look back, many of the most impactful physiology, neurophysiology and neuroscience studies, including much of the Nobel Prize-winning place cell work, were historically done in rats. As murine research becomes increasingly sophisticated, [...]

Humanized Mouse Xenograft Models: The Best of Both Worlds

Xenograft rodent models and cultured cells have long been used in pre-clinical studies of cancers and other human maladies, the reality is that there are significant limitations to both of these model systems. According to a recent review  by Morton, et al published by the American Association for Cancer Research, immune system humanized mice have allowed for researchers to examine [...]

Xenograft Rat Models Give Hope to New Therapeutic Treatments for Leukemia

Mutations in DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) are common in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, and unfortunately, carriers of this particular gene mutation generally have a poor prognosis. And although scholars don’t fully understand the exact mechanisms by which DNMT3A loss contributes to leukemogenesis, murine stem cell research, as described in an August 2016 article published by Rau, et al in [...]

Precision Toxicology™ News

Check out the latest updates from our monthly newsletter which provides information on new R&D, publications, model development & industry trends in the three categories below.

Humanized Rodent Models: A Critical Research Tool Chimeric humanized liver rodent models are being used by those at the forefront of biomedical and drug discovery research. These humanized models allow for critical in-vivo research to evaluate everything from human-specific drug toxicity to gene therapies. One area where humanized liver rodent models could offer tremendous potential is in the study of diabetes-related treatments. A recent article published in Biomedical and Biophysical Research Communications not only discusses AAV-based gene therapy for the treatment of diabetes in humans, but it also describes the benefits of humanized liver models in pre-clinical research.

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New Transgenic Rat Models Offer Superior Representation of Human Cancers Until recently, there has been a void in animal models that mimic the early-onset of bone and nervous system sarcomas found in humans, particularly children, with Tp53 germline mutations. However, researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Utah have recently published their findings that Fisher 344-Tp53 knockout rats appear to exhibit a high rate of bone and brain neoplasia with frequent metastasis with tumors that were highly representative of the human malady from a radiographic and histological perspective.

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Could Xenograft Rats Be The Future of Leukemia Research? Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a relatively rare cancer, but it is still the most prevalent leukemia in adults and there is, unfortunately, still no cure for this disease. But recent research published in the official journal of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) Clinical Immunology, offers some newfound hope in better understanding the progression and/or regression of CLL.

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