Cambridge (UK) tech start-up, Repositive, has introduced new features to its Cancer Models Platform, responding to feedback from the platform’s growing user base. The platform provides oncology researchers with a holistic, searchable, comparable view of existing cancer models, whilst providing Contract Research Organisations (CROs) - the providers of the cancer models - with a tool to market, manage and analyse their models.
Repositive initially created its unique PDX model sharing platform in 2017 and successfully extended the scope of the platform to become the broader Cancer Models Platform in 2018. Repositive demonstrated the platform’s new functionalities at the Tumor Models Conference in Boston, July 2018.
Chris Taylor, Product Manager at Repositive, said: “We have responded to feedback from early adopters, expanding the platform to incorporate a wider range of translational cancer models and related services, but also providing standardised metadata and molecular characteristics. This enables us to facilitate enhanced search and effective comparison of all available models – something which is not possible when researchers try to compare model data from other CROs using different metadata parameters.
“This challenge is one that academics have begun to resolve for publicly available data and one that we, at Repositive, have taken on in order to create a consensus for industry, too. This has the potential to revolutionise the process of discovering and accessing the best cancer models for research projects and, as our ambition is to enable better and faster discovery of treatments and cures through technological innovation, we were only too ready to take on this challenge.”
Benefits for CROs
Other advantages of the Cancer Models Platform for CROs include increased visibility resulting in increased sales; the ability to manage inventory in a purpose built, intuitive platform, which has CRM functionality and can be filtered, updated in real time and organised in collections, reducing reliance on Excel spreadsheets and the need to update external website inventories; and support from the Repositive team in mapping and loading inventory data onto the platform. The platform is secure and offers CROs a range of options in terms of providing specific user groups with different levels of access to their model metadata. The existing clients of a CRO can be provided with single-use tokens, which give access to the CRO’s inventory only.
Benefits for oncology researchers
Benefits for oncology researchers include easy access to a greater number and diversity of models, and the simple search function is much more time effective than contacting CROs individually to enquire about model availability. The search function is precise down to the specific genomic characteristics required, and the platform’s security and IP protection enables researchers to locate models without jeopardising the confidentiality of details about current or future projects. The platform also provides a place to make private notes against individual models to keep track for upcoming projects and avoid replicating effort.
Benefits for pharma and biotech with model inventories
For pharma and biotech companies with their own model inventories, the option to upload inventories under a private profile for the sole use of their own researchers enables in-house researchers to compare, in a single search, their in-house models alongside those of every external CRO on the platform, without publicising their inventory to any external parties.
Fiona Nielsen, Founder and CEO of Repositive, said: “Our Cancer Models Platform eliminates one of the greatest barriers researchers face in discovering the best cancer models to make progress in drug discovery. We are continually developing the platform based on feedback from our partners and we look forward to demonstrating its potential to visitors at the Tumor Models Conference in Boston, whilst gathering further information to help us to continue developing its usability.”
“During our time in the US, we are also hosting a networking event to bring together oncology researchers from across academia, biopharma and biotech, to discuss Model selection for immuno-oncology and combination therapies. All who have an interest in immuno-oncology and translational research are welcome to join us and we hope to see as many current and new contacts as possible in Boston.”