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

PDX Models of Lung Cancer Closely Mimic Characteristics of Patient Primary Tumors

Despite ongoing research, lung cancers have remained among the most difficult to treat and account for the greatest number of cancer-related deaths worldwide. A suspected reason is the underlying molecular complexity of individual malignancies. Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) account for approximately 85% of all lung cancers, yet research shows that these NSCLC tumors rarely share common cancer driver mutations, [...]

Rat Provides a More Robust & Convenient Animal Infection Model for Hepatitis E Virus

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is estimated to cause more than 56 thousand deaths each year, and although most infections remain asymptomatic, HEV is still considered one of the most common causes of acute viral hepatitis and is an ongoing concern for immunosuppressed transplant patients. Additionally, because HEV is a feco-orally transmitted virus, it is also known to spread rapidly in [...]

Hera BioLabs, a KY based contract research lab announces $400K Kentucky SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Grant

Hera BioLabs (“Hera”), a Lexington KY based contract research organization (CRO) serving the pharmaceutical and biotech markets announced it has been awarded a $400,000 Kentucky SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Grant to develop new products and services. Hera utilizes advanced gene editing technology to develop improved drug discovery tools for the $10B pre-clinical CRO outsourcing market. The grant adds to Hera’s $774,000 [...]

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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