Hera BioLabs is a contract research organization (CRO) utilizing gene editing technologies to create enabling preclinical research models for oncology & immuno-oncology. Hera’s platform model, the OncoRat SRG, is a SCID rat on the Sprague-Dawley background harboring a double knockout for the Rag2 and Il2rgamma genes. This enhanced immunodeficient rat model has a severely impaired immune system lacking B-cells, T-cells, and NK-cells. The OncoRat overcomes limitations of mouse models for xenograft efficacy studies. For example, the OncoRat enables tumor cell line xenograft models that were previously inefficient or not feasible in mouse models. While the long timeline required for the establishment of patient derived xenografts or PDX models in mice is often impractical; the OncoRat grows ~10x larger tumors enabling PDX establishment and efficacy studies in fewer passages and a shorter amount of time.

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Preclinical Oncology Insights

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

  • 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 >
  • H358 NSCLC xenografts in humanized rats: the ideal in vivo model for studying KRAS mutations - Lung adenocarcinomas, the major histological subtype of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC), harbor oncogenic KRAS mutations in approximately 25% of cases. Many of the targeted therapies that have been studied and approved for the treatment of NSCLC specifically target the EGFR – KRAS – BRAF – MEK – ERK signaling kinase cascade as oncogenic addiction to these growth factor signals 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 >