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Crown Bio Buys Molecular Response's PDX Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Crown Bioscience has acquired Molecular Response's patient-derived xenograft (PDX) business for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced today. 

Crown is acquiring Molecular Response's existing PDX models and 8,000 viable human tumors for model development. The tumors are from Molecular Response's viable tumor bank containing more than 140,000 cryopreserved 100 percent US tumor samples. As part of the deal, Crown will be able to select and develop additional models from Molecular Response's tumor bank. 

The majority of the tissue samples are from patients who have received prior treatment, and include metastatic tumors, Crown noted. It added that each tumor is supported by a companion molecular biobank and curated patient and sample data, and the tumor bank represents more than 76 clinical diagnoses. 

As a result of the deal, Crown's PDX collection will be the world's largest "and most comprehensive collection of patient-derived models both clinically and ethnically diverse" with tumor models from the US, Europe, and Asia, Crown said. The models include multiple stages of cancer development across a range of cancer types and represent patients who are "treatment naïve" and those who have received prior treatment. 

Molecular Response's facilities and personnel in San Diego will serve as a global center of excellence for translation oncology and will complement Crown's operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Kannapolis, NC, and the UK. Crown is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. 

"Our clients are now in a position to access a unique resource of relevant models containing clinically proven molecular markers present in global populations," Crown President Jean-Pierre Wery said in a statement. "Our ability to run hundreds of models in parallel enables our clients to complete avatar trials in months rather than years to determine the genetic signature of responders versus non-responders. Our clients can then make better informed decisions regarding the selection of patients and the design of clinical trials to ultimately reduce the attrition of compounds in the clinic." 

Molecular Response separately said that it will now focus on its TargetX drug discovery and development platform and continue its personalized medicine developmental programs currently in prospective clinical trials with cancer centers.