According to a recent study from the American Cancer Society, over 19 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Cancer reaches every corner of the globe and touches way too many of our lives. And as the search for answers advances, all eyes are on oncology research and this growing drug development field full of new technology and treatment candidates.
We are committed to supporting you in your fight against cancer in the largest therapeutic area in drug development today. That’s why we’ve invested in a total renovation of our preclinical oncology facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This investment increased the space from 27,000 to 37,000 square feet and equipped our laboratory with the latest innovations to keep your studies and our scientists at the leading edge of technology. The additional space includes new cell culture labs, wet labs and vivarium facilities, all dedicated to your preclinical oncology studies.
This investment enables us to conduct more studies and ultimately help more patients. “With the expansion comes our ability to add new services to help our customers,” says James Norman, Executive Director of Business Development at our Preclinical Oncology, Antibody Reagents and Vaccines branch. “Now that we have a bigger laboratory, we can expand the number of analytical machines that we already have and we can bring in new ones, thereby being more flexible and efficient for our customers.”
Not only do our enhanced facilities enable greater capacity, we can schedule studies faster as well. “Time is critical for our clients, and ultimately the cancer patients who will benefit from new therapies,” says Scott Wise, Executive Director of Preclinical Oncology. “Sponsors are looking to get data, and if our capacity was constrained, we wouldn’t be able to turn around their projects and give them the data they need. Two drivers that are critical in the early discovery phase of oncology are speed and insight. We can address both even better now by having the new, larger facility and latest technology.”
A notable feature of our larger facility is the brand-new vivarium, which houses 13 state-of-the-art bio-bubbles. The bio-bubble design features a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filtration system that provides the positive pressure environment necessary to ensure that specialized immuno-compromised models remain safe and pathogen free, which preserves the integrity of your study. Additionally, we can reconfigure their arrangement without having to pause any studies taking place inside of them, increasing the flexibility of our workspace and keeping your timeline on track.
The new vivarium also contains 37 individually ventilated racks that can hold up to 30,000 models concurrently and supplies a third level of filtration, delivering greater safety along with greater capacity. “We have an ultra-clean environment that keeps our immuno-compromised models very safe,” says Wise.
When it comes to which treatments we explore in our new space, your feedback is crucial to our decision making. The updated facilities enable us to conduct research in high-interest areas like biomarker science, where we utilize GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler by Nanostring to gather data in greater detail than ever before, even down to specific portions of tumors. We are also one of the only contract research organizations to employ a Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (SARRP) by Xstrahl, a scaled-down version of a clinical radiation treatment instrument that allows us to research novel radiation combination treatments in a preclinical setting.
We are dedicated to helping you find more answers in the fight against cancer. By expanding our preclinical oncology facility, we’re able to give you access to the latest technology to keep moving your science forward and ultimately making it even more possible to change patients’ lives for the better.