Preclinical Research Animal Models:
Pharmacology studies rely upon animal studies to demonstrate efficacy and safety of drug action. Animal models of disease are critical for obtaining relevant information in a living organism. These data are an essential part of the drug discovery and development process. Data obtained from animal studies reveal the cognitive functional, behavioral consequences of drug treatment. Results from animal models may be complemented with cell -based assays by assessing the blood and tissues of treated animals to understand molecular changes. Methods such as flow cytometry and microarrays to detect cellular events, and biomarker analysis are useful for assessing the result from animal models.
Unfortunately, only 5-10% of compounds that are active against cancer cells in Petri dish are working in mouse models. Animal models are so much more complex organism that it is impossible to predict biological activity of the new test compound without using animals. Safety studies also greatly rely on animal models to predict LD50 (50% of lethal dose) in humans. Xenograft animal models are used in most cancer studies (xenografts are immunocompromised mice that are bearing human tumors) – no new cancer drug will receive FDA approval without xenograft data. Altogen Labs provides over 50 validated xenograft models for oncology and preclinical research.
Xenograft cell models (transfer of human cells to mice) are also useful to understand tumor biology and oncology drug development. Many cell lines such as A549, HeLa, PANC1 are offered by biology CROs (e.g. Altogen Labs) and are prepared and then grafted onto the appropriate part of the body in mice. The efficacy of test compound (novel cancer therapeutics) are measured by tumor growth delay phenotype. Follow up studies are performed to characterize new compound anti-tumor biological activity by studying its molecular mechanism of action.
For medical devices, pig models are used since they approximate human responses due to certain similarity of the central nervous, digestive, immune and cardiovascular system.