Crown Bioscience has introduced preclinical models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to help scientists study both disorders and test potential therapies before they can be given to humans in clinical trials.
Preclinical models are necessary in scientific research in order to study the development of disease as well as to test the efficacy of potential drugs before they can be administered to humans in clinical trials. The availability of preclinical animal models, which are generally mice or rats, allows researchers a new, more biologically-relevant avenue to test their hypothesis. Until now, there were no reliable pre-clinical models for IBD or RA.
CrownBio says it has now achieved that goal, which will give scientists a faster way to test drugs. These models have been created using known mechanisms of disease development and have been shown to result in similar clinical features caused by these diseases in humans — making them ideal methods to test drugs for IBD and RA in a research setting.
“Millions of patients endure the pain and discomfort caused by RA and IBD,” Laurie Heilmann, Crown’s senior vice-president of global strategy, marketing and business development said in a press release. “Our team led by Joel Tocker, head of inflammation, has over 40 years of drug discovery experience in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases to help build ideal models that lead to therapeutic advancements.”
The IBD model utilizes dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and T cell transfer. DSS is given to animal models to damage the epithelial wall of the colon, which leads to gastrointestinal damage. Likewise, transferring T cells to the gut makes the IBD model more relevant to research, since the inflammation in the gut that causes IBD is driven by large numbers of T cells. The combination of DSS and T cell transfer causes the IBD model to lose weight, reduce the length of its colon and become inflamed — all of which are symptoms of IBD.
CrownBio developed its RA model using collagen-induced arthritis and collagen antibody-induced arthritis. The company’s RA models develop the clinical features of arthritis such as swollen and inflamed joints.
“CrownBio is excited to expand the unique advantages of our scientific technology platform into autoimmune and inflammatory disease research,” said CEO Jean Pierre Wery. “We look forward to growing our therapeutic portfolio in this area and delivering valuable insights which drive new discoveries that bring drugs to market, achieving our mission of connecting science to patients.”