OncoRat studies provide our clients with translational, economic and ethical benefits.

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. Hera’s mission with the OncoRat is to provide the best in vivo data with the fewest number of animals. Improved engraftment rates and growth profile reduce the number of animals that need to be inoculated for a xenograft efficacy study (see PDX and VCaP example). Pharmacokinetics and toxicology can be combined with efficacy in the rat. Serial blood sampling for PK and biomarkers (see VCaP tumor PSA biomarker) as well as serial tumor biopsies can be taken from the larger tumors. All these translational enhancements are realized without the need to remove animals from the study.

Three experts share their experience with the OncoRat for xenograft studies

Building & characterizing the OncoRat

Drug development & efficacy studies

PDX studies & patient avatars

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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >