Generating a living biobank for breast cancer

December 18, 2013

Hubrecht Organoid Technology

The HUB Foundation for Organoid Technology and Boehringer Ingelheim Sign Agreement on Generating a Living Biobank for Breast Cancer.

– Organoids represent an exciting new tool for developing precision cancer drugs

Utrecht, December 18, 2013 – The HUB Foundation for Organoid Technology announced today that it has signed an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to generate a Living Biobank from tissues of patients with breast cancer. The Living Biobank, comprising mini-organs (‘organoids’) grown in tissue culture, will be used for the discovery and preclinical validation of novel drug candidates for breast cancer.

“We welcome Boehringer Ingelheim as a partner joining our efforts to generate a collection of organoids derived from cancerous tissues from patients suffering from breast cancer”, says Prof. Hans Clevers, one of the founding directors of the HUB. “These activities will contribute to the HUB’s rapidly expanding Living Biobank of organoids based on tissues from patients with various forms of cancer, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease”.

“In cell culture, organoids stably maintain the genotype of the patient’s diseased tissue, facilitating the integration of patient genetic heterogeneity and preclinical drug discovery and validation”, adds Dr. Rob Vries, managing director.  “The collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim supports our proposition that organoids represent an exciting new tool to more efficiently develop precision drugs for subgroups of patients”.

About the HUB

The 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.

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