When a T-cell therapy pioneer needed to conduct a preclinical study, Explora BioLabs was the right contract research organization to help.
A2 Bio creates powerful, precise T-cell therapies that attack solid tumors while sparing normal cells. This biotech is on the frontlines of cancer research, and when it needed a preclinical in vivo immuno-oncology study conducted, it turned to Explora BioLabs for its expertise, fast turnaround times, transparent communication, and all-around flexibility.
A2 Bio’s Study Overview
A2 Bio’s proprietary TmodTM therapy platform was applied to selectively target colon cancer cells by taking advantage of a genetic difference between tumor and normal cells, known as “loss of heterozygosity.” The discrimination is based on the presence or absence of human leukocyte antigenHLA–A*02. The carcinoembryonic antigen T-cell product (CEA Tmod) used a blocker module to prevent CAR-mediated killing of all healthy cells expressing HLA-A*02. Tumor cells not expressing HLA–A*02 were selectively killed by the CEA Tmod product in vitro and in the blinded in vivo experiment carried out by Explora BioLabs.
Explora’s Study Execution Process
A2 Bio’s immuno-oncology study focused on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. The study needed to be fast and flexible, and produce reliable, reproducible data. Explora BioLabs delivered.
When drafting the study protocol, Explora BioLabs:
- Provided input into the study design, which contributed to the study’s success.
- Initiated the study for A2 Bio in less than four weeks, enabling the biotech to meet its quickly approaching deadline.
- Reduced downtime by streamlining the transition from the model validation study to the efficacy study.
- Executed the entire blinded in vivo experiment under IACUC-approved protocols.
Explora BioLabs sourced and acclimated the study rodents to their housing prior to the initiation of the study. The rodents were injected subcutaneously with xenograft model cells. The general health of the mice was monitored throughout the study at regular intervals via clinical observations. The tumor growth was also monitored, and once the tumor volume reached the desired size, the animals were randomized in groups and T-cell doses were administered. Tumor volume measurements were regularly taken along with blood and serum samples following T cell injection. Once the study concluded, blood and tissue samples were prepared for A2 Bio’s analysis.
The research overseen by Explora demonstrated consistent response of T-cell activity and produced baseline data and growth curves as a reference for A2 Bio’s study.
Explora Delivered Quality Data with Minimum Delay and Great Communication
Outsourcing preclinical research to CROs (Contract Research Organizations) can be a precarious process in which cells and therapeutics might experience delay, damage, or loss during shipping. Working with Explora BioLabs, A2 Bio hand-delivered its therapeutics and custom-engineered cell line to one of our Explora labs immediately before inoculation. Explora was able to inject them upon delivery. Once the study concluded, we provided A2 Bio with fresh blood, tissue, and serum samples for rapid analysis.
Typical tumor growth measurements only involve calipers. However, Explora BioLabs’ IVIS bioluminescence imaging capabilities delivered rapid, quantitative results on the growth progress of the tumor. As bioluminescence is more sensitive to show responses to treatments than traditional caliper measurements, A2 Bio benefited from faster, more comprehensive data regarding the study’s progress—about a week faster than typical caliper measurements. Explora BioLabs communicated this information with transparency and consistency, helping A2 Bio make critical decisions and reach its study milestones.
Explora BioLabs Contract Research Services
Explora BioLabs’ local preclinical contract research services include full-solution and à la carte in vivo research services for oncology, metabolic diseases, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, biodistribution, and more. Explora enables researchers to meet their milestones quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s the complete execution of a study or one-time assistance, Explora BioLabs helps meet your research goals.
Learn more about Explora’s oncology Contract Research services.
To view the full study, “A carcinoembryonic antigen-specific cell therapy selectively targets tumor cells with HLA loss of heterozygosity in vitro and in vivo,” click here (redirects to science.org). To learn about A2 Bio’s science and the TmodTM platform, click here.