Hera BioLabs utilizes enabling technologies for preclinical discovery. We provide our clients with exceptional services, preclinical models off-the-shelf and gene editing tools for early drug development applications. Combined with our experienced staff & state-of-the-art facilities we ensure high quality data delivered. Hera’s platform in vivo model, the SRG rat, is a SCID rat on the Sprague-Dawley background harboring a double knockout for the Rag2 and Il2rgamma genes with applications in oncology, immuno-oncology and other areas of pharmacology/toxicology are being developed.  Our platform gene editing technology is the piggyBac transposon, with 750 peer-reviewed publications and counting, piggyBac is a highly validated system for cell line engineering and transgenesis.

OncoRat: Building a Better Trap for Cancer

High failure rates during clinical testing complicate the oncology drug development process. More predictive preclinical models are a key solution. Hera BioLabs’ patented, uniquely engineered SRG OncoRat provides an alternative oncology model with significant advantages over mouse models.
More Reliable. OncoRat engrafts human tumors at a higher rate with more uniform tumor kinetics than mice, providing translational scientists with the tools they need for rapid decision-making.
More Efficient. Hera BioLabs’ OncoRat allows a smooth transition from efficacy to safety evaluation. It pairs better with nonclinical rat safety models, reducing the need for cross-species assessment.
More Robust. Tumors grow 10x larger in OncoRat than in mouse models, facilitating more options for downstream analyses. Also, the ability to perform serial blood draws and tumor biopsies generate more data with fewer animals.

Capturing Tumor Diversity

Oncology drug development continues to be one of the most challenging areas of science, with a notoriously high failure rate. Too often, the science doesn’t translate to the clinic. Patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDXs) have the potential to close the gap, modeling the complex features of cancers such as tumor heterogeneity, genetic profiles, histopathological features, and even drug resistance. OncoRat’s ability to host tumors ten times the volume supported by mice allows researchers to bank PDXs at much lower passages, improving timeline and quality of drug-response studies.

OncoRat: The Superior Model

Hera BioLabs uses gene-editing technologies to create superior animal models for preclinical research studies using the SRG platform. The company’s flagship model, the SRG OncoRat is a severely immunodeficient rat line that lacks B, T, and NK cells, enabling excellent engraftment of human cells and tissues and tumor growth rates. For translational researchers, it offers the natural advantages of rat models with those acquired through genetic manipulation, generating reproducible in vivo data with fewer animals in a model superior to mouse.
Learn more about SRG OncoRat
“The tumor uptake rate was to 80-100%, which is a huge advantage because what we could achieve as a statistical significance with 8-12 mice, can be achieved with 5-6 OncoRats.” — Ramesh Narayanan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine & Hematology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Preclinical Models & Gene Editing News

Check out the latest updates from our quarterly newsletter which provides information on new R&D, publications, model development & industry trends.
  • OncoRat® featured in Clinical Cancer Research for prostate cancer studies - Improving Preclinical Anticancer Studies Using Rat Xenograft Model Systems: A case study of SRG OncoRat tumor xenografts from a Clinical Cancer Research publication (paper link)  Using the SRG OncoRat and xenograft validation services from Hera BioLabs, researchers were able to: Collect and validate an efficient, human relevant model system Confirm and compare data in the OncoRat with NSG mice Determine lead… Continue Reading >
  • The OncoRat® is the ideal host for patient-derived xenografts of ovarian cancer cells - Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer in the United States. Advances in cytotoxic, platinum-based chemotherapeutics combined with tumor resection surgery allows approximately 80% of these patients to achieve remission. Unfortunately, the vast majority have a tumor recurrence within 12-24 months and relapsed ovarian cancer is recognized as being universally incurable1-2.   Large genomic analyses of ovarian tumors, using… Continue Reading >
  • Evolution of the rat model - Rats have been favored for drug development studies because the metabolism and pharmacokinetic properties of drugs in rats are most similar to humans. Rats are also preferable for xenograft studies because they allow for tumor volumes 10-fold higher than in mice, they are easier to surgically manipulate, and they can accommodate multiple blood samplings to assess the pharmacokinetic properties of… Continue Reading >