Successfully grow breast cancer mini-organs “organoids” from cancer tissue

October 14, 2014

Hubrecht Organoid Technology

The HUB Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim successfully grow breast cancer mini-organs “organoids” from cancer tissue

Living Biobank of breast cancer organoids aims at improving discovery of innovative drugs for personalized medicine

Utrecht, October 14, 2014 – The HUB Foundation for Organoid Technology and Boehringer Ingelheim announced today the successful completion of the first phase of a study aimed at generating breast cancer organoids. Organoids are mini-organs grown in tissue culture derived from biopsies taken from patients with cancer and other diseases. In the next phase of the collaboration, a comprehensive Living Biobank of up to one hundred  organoids will be established and used for the discovery and preclinical validation of novel breast cancer drugs.

“We are very excited that the HUB and Boehringer Ingelheim were able to grow breast cancer tissue-derived organoids”, says Prof. Hans Clevers, founding director of the HUB who pioneered the organoid technology. “A Living Biobank that reflects  the full genetic heterogeneity of breast cancer will be a great step forward in the efforts to develop better breast cancer therapies and strategies”.

“The lack of relevant preclinical cancer models has significantly contributed to the high failure rate of new drugs entering early clinical testing in humans”, adds Ton Logtenberg, founding director of the HUB. “We believe that the Living Biobank of breast cancer organoids has the potential to substantially improve the predictability and track record of drug development and efficiently progress safe and more efficacious drugs for cancer patients”.


About the HUB

The Foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB) is a not-for-profit organization founded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and the University Medical Center Utrecht. The HUB exploits the pioneering work of Prof. Hans Clevers, who discovered methods to grow stem cell-derived human ‘mini-organs’  (organoids) from tissues of patients with various diseases. The organoids, that are part of the Living Biobank, are characterized by genome sequencing, expression profiling and sensitivity to known and experimental drugs to establish a database linking genetic and transcriptional information to drug responsiveness.  The HUB offers licenses to its patented Organoid Technology for drug-screening and access to organoids in the Living Biobank for preclinical drug discovery and validation. In addition, the HUB provides drug screening services to third parties.

For more information contact Robert Vries (Managing Director HUB) by email or telephone 00 31 653306487



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