Firm claims technology can more accurately predict drug activity in multiple cancers than xenograft models.

Champions Biotechnology signed a master service agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals under which it will use its Tumorgraft™ technology platform to test the efficacy of one of Teva’s anti-angiogenic compounds against various cancers. The firm claims the technology will help provide Teva with data that will improve decision making and accelerate the development program for the drug.

Champions claims its Tumorgraft technology can more accurately predict the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs in patients than traditional methods. The platform involves transplanting primary human tumors into immune-deficient mice within hours after the sample is taken from the patient. The resulting Biomerk Tumorgrafts are subsequently propagated in a manner that preserves the biological characteristics of the original human tumor. The firm claims this means that unlike cell-line derived xenografts used in traditional preclinical testing, its Biomerk Tumorgrafts are never passaged in cell tissue culture.

The firm offers the platform through its Tumorgraft eValuation service for applications including early efficacy testing and biomarker discovery and validation. Predictive testing services may encompass the provision of data for preclinical or early-clinical compounds in multiple tumor types, assess later-stage compounds against new cancer indications, and identify potential biomarkers and drug-response signatures at the preclinical development stage.

Champions has signed a number of Tumorgraft deals this year. In September the firm inked an agreement focused on evaluating Cephalon’s B-Raf inhibitor CEP-32496. During April it teamed up with the Eisai subsidiary Morphotek to evaluate one of the latter’s monoclonal antibodies as a single agent and in combination with other anticancer therapeutics.

Champions reported total revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 (to July 31) of $1.6 million, up 66% compared the equivalent quarter during fiscal 2010.

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