Hera Solutions and Services
The quality of pre-clinical translational research often hinges on assay validation and in vitro and in vivo predictive modeling. Hera BioLabs is creating specifically engineered cell and animal models which offer robust and relevant assay platforms for efficacy and toxicity studies.
Our contract research services span the entire spectrum of preclinical toxicology and efficacy research from model creation to data delivery. Our custom research model services include both in vivo and in vitro model creation, screening & efficacy studies, and transgenic rodent colony management. Our unique SCID rat models allow us to provide cancer xenograft efficacy studies and are being used to develop humanized liver and immune system models. Hera has created new genetically modified MDCK cell lines and is continuing to use our gene editing expertise to develop new cell lines with a focus on neurotoxicity and hepatotoxicity.
- One of the promising avenues in the development of better in vitro assays is to utilize changes in gene expression engendered by toxicant exposure as a surrogate for toxicity itself, as this is likely to be a more sensitive indicator of toxic potential than standard cytotoxicity assays. Transient in vitro expression assays have been used to detect cellular responses such as genotoxicity, oxidative stress and metabolism gene (CYP, P450) induction. Stably expressed cell lines developed for specific assays can increase the throughput; while targeted reporters such as firefly luciferase-T2A-renilla luciferase (lux) reporters have the advantage of harnessing the cells natural expression machinery (1).
- Patient specific in vitro and in vivo genetic models can be utilized for disease modeling, drug toxicity screening/drug discovery as well as therapeutic applications (2).
- Humanized liver rodent models have been used to predict human specific drug induced hepatotoxicity, where traditional models have not resulting in drug program failure and patient injury or death (3)
(1) Rojas-Fernandez et al. (2015) Rapid generation of endogenously driven transcriptional reporters in cells through CRISPR/Cas9. Scientific Reports.
(2) Chun et al. (2010) Applications of Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells; Focused on Disease Modeling, Drug Screening and Therapeutic Potentials for Liver Disease. Int J Biol Sci.
(3) Xu et al. (2014) Fialuridine Induces Acute Liver Failure in Chimeric TK-NOG Mice: A Model for Detecting Hepatic Drug Toxicity Prior to Human Testing. Plos Med.