Biomedical research has witnessed dramatic breakthroughs in the genetic roots of disease, the underlying mechanisms of disease progression, and treatment response. Towards building a clearer picture of how systems interact and creating more predictive disease models, WuXi established a collection of over 500 Chinese cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models, more than 220 of which have been deep-sequenced using whole exome sequencing at 100X. We recently broadened the scope of the PDX models through an exclusive licensing agreement with the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine, thereby enhancing access by WuXi’s partners to cancer models derived from patients in China and in the west.
The agreement gives WuXi exclusive use of a Mayo Clinic panel of PDX models for prevailing cancers in Western countries. By combining Chinese and Western ancestry models, WuXi has created a single platform for its global customers. The highly-relevant models now available from WuXi have a higher probability of success for testing targeted therapies.
Mayo Clinic licensed the PDX models to WuXi to give its collection the greatest chance of improving the lives of patients. “We are delighted to work with WuXi, an organization with a strong reputation and industry leadership, to make our PDX models broadly available to the global cancer research community,” said Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, Director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine.
As part of WuXi’s open-access R&D services platform, the models give the biopharmaceutical industry the capabilities to realize the potential of personalized medicines. The need for these drugs is greater than ever. In its third annual report, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) estimates there will be 22.2 million new cases of cancer in 2030, up from 12.8 million in 2008.
The PDX models offered by WuXi will enable companies to develop drugs that target specific defects in these cancers, turning them from fatal diseases, into manageable ones. At the same time, targeted therapies ensure drugs are only given to patients whose genetics make them likely to respond, saving them from investing time, money and hope in an ineffective therapy.
This targeted approach may also reduce side effects. In 2008 the European Union (EU) estimated avoidable adverse drug reactions cost its member states €24 billion a year. If development of more targeted therapies cut incidence of such adverse events by just 10%, Europe would save €2.4 billion a year. That is more than twice as much as the EU will invest in health research and innovation this year.
WuXi believes personalized medicine help realize these savings, while improving health outcomes for millions of people around the globe. We are excited to work with the Mayo Clinic to help our customers bring about these advances.