Precision Therapeutics forms TumorGenesis subsidiary
Precision Therapeutics announced it has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, TumorGenesis Inc., to develop the next generation or patient derived tumor models for precision cancer therapy and drug development. The Company formed TumorGenesis Inc. to develop a new, rapid approach to growing tumors in the laboratory, which essentially "fools" the cancer cells into thinking they are still growing inside the patient. This approach will provide a much more relevant model of the patient tumor that may be used for testing of drugs for personalized therapy or for the development of new drugs. Testing of the TumorGenesis PDx tumors will take place in collaboration with Helomics, in which Precision has a 20% equity stake. The Company is currently in negotiations with several medical technology companies to license their technology to advance TumorGenesis's strategic plan and expects to announce these potential agreements in the near future. Unlike the current PDx animal models that grow the tumor in a mouse or rat, the TumorGenesis approach is faster, less costly and more closely mimics the characteristics of the patient's tumor. The PDx models using mice are also limited in the number of combinations of dosing, drug combinations, and cost. Furthermore, the jury is still out on how useful it is to grow tumor cells in a mouse or rat environment. In contrast, TumorGenesis offers an external structured environment combining chemistry, biology, mechanics and cell nutrients to fool the cancer cells into growing as closely as possible to the environment inside the human body. TumorGenesis' innovative approach is comprised of three key steps; first, the tumor cells from the patient tumor biopsy are tagged using peptides targeted to the patient's specific cancer cells; second, the tags are used to adhere the cells to a 3D biomimetic support in the well of a standard 96 well microplate; and third, the tumor cells are grown in the 3D culture system until ready for testing.The TumorGenesis PDx model will initially be developed for three orphan cancers, Multiple Myeloma, Triple-Negative Breast cancer and Ovarian cancers, all of which are areas that have a high unmet need for new and effective treatments that are tailored to patients' unique tumor profiles.