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In Vitro

Boost oncology drug discovery with XenoBase®, featuring the largest cell line selection and exclusive 3D organoid models. Benefit from OrganoidXplore™ and OmniScreen™ for rapid, in-depth analysis.

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In Vivo

Enhance drug development with our validated in vivo models, in vitro/ex vivo assays, and in silico modeling. Tailored solutions to optimize your candidates.

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Tissue

Experience ISO-certified biobanking quality. Access top biospecimens from a global clinical network, annotated by experts for precise research.

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Biomarkers and Bioanalysis

Leverage our global labs and 150+ scientists for fast, tailored project execution. Benefit from our expertise, cutting-edge tech, and validated workflows for reliable data outcomes.

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Data Science and Bioinformatics

Harness your data and discover biomarkers with our top bioinformatics expertise. Maximize data value and gain critical insights to accelerate drug discovery and elevate projects.

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KRAS

Accelerate innovative cancer treatments with our advanced models and precise drug screening for KRAS mutations, efficiently turning insights into clinical breakthroughs.

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EGFR

Advance translational pharmacology with our diverse pre-clinical models, robust assays, and data science-driven biomarker analysis, multi-omics, and spatial biology.

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Drug Resistance

Our suite integrates preclinical solutions, bioanalytical read-outs, and multi-omics to uncover drug resistance markers and expedite discovery with our unique four-step strategy.

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Patient Tissue

Enhance treatments with our human tumor and mouse models, including xenografts and organoids, for accurate cancer biology representation.

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Apply the most appropriate in silico framework to your pharmacology data or historical datasets to elevate your study design and analysis, and to improve your chances of clinical success.

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Biomarker Analysis

Integrate advanced statistics into your drug development projects to gain significant biological insight into your therapeutic candidate, with our expert team of bioinformaticians.

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CRISPR/Cas9

Accelerate your discoveries with our reliable CRISPR solutions. Our global CRISPR licenses cover an integrated drug discovery platform for in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies.

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Genomics

Rely on our experienced genomics services to deliver high quality, interpretable results using highly sensitive PCR-based, real-time PCR, and NGS technologies and advanced data analytics.

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In Vitro High Content Imaging

Gain more insights into tumor growth and disease progression by leveraging our 2D and 3D fluorescence optical imaging.

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Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics

Next-generation ion mobility mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics services available globally to help meet your study needs.

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Ex Vivo Patient Tissue

Gain better insight into the phenotypic response of your therapeutic candidate in organoids and ex vivo patient tissue.

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Spatial Multi-Omics Analysis

Certified CRO services with NanoString GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiling.

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Biomarker Discovery

De-risk your drug development with early identification of candidate biomarkers and utilize our biomarker discovery services to optimize clinical trial design.

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DMPK Services

Rapidly evaluate your molecule’s pharmaceutical and safety properties with our in vivo drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic (DMPK) services to select the most robust drug formulations.

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Efficacy Testing

Explore how the novel HuGEMM™ and HuCELL™ platforms can assess the efficacy of your molecule and accelerate your immuno-oncology drug discovery programs.

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Leverage our suite of structural biology services including, recombinant protein expression and protein crystallography, and target validation services including RNAi.

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Screens

Find the most appropriate screen to accelerate your drug development: discover in vivo screens with MuScreen™ and in vitro cell line screening with OmniScreen™.

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Carry out safety pharmacology studies as standalone assessments or embedded within our overall toxicological profiling to assess cardiovascular, metabolic and renal/urinary systems.

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Global CRO in California, USA offering preclinical and translational oncology platforms with high-quality in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo models.

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Cancer Cell Lines: Immortal Champions in Oncology Drug Discovery

Human cancer cell lines are a powerful model system that can be propagated virtually indefinitely in culture, and manipulated to assess sensitivity to anticancer drugs or to investigate the molecular factors behind response to therapy. Oncology research using cancer cell lines has provided meaningful insights into many aspects of cancer susceptibility to treatment and into the role of specific genes in this process. More recently key genomic alterations and gene expression analysis of cultured cancer cells has helped pathologists to perform more accurate diagnoses. CrownBio has established a large collection of human tumor cell lines corresponding to a wide variety of tumor types, and has developed a high-throughput screen, OmniScreen™ to rapidly profile novel anticancer agents in a cost-effective manner.

It is now widely understood that human tumor cells have a substantial genetic heterogeneity, even among cancers with similar histopathology. Therefore, to develop an accurate picture of why tumors form and how they respond to therapy, it is necessary to perform relatively large-scale studies and spread such heterogeneity over a relatively large sample set.

One of the first large scale screens on human cancer cell lines was performed in the late 1980s by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) on a panel of 60 human tumor cell lines (NCI-60), derived from cancers that were considered particularly hard to treat. They included colon, lung, ovarian, and renal cancer, as well as melanoma.

This in vitro drug discovery process was developed to minimize the use of transplantable animal tumor models for anticancer drug screening. Over the years thousands of compounds have been screened against the list, and the research possibilities grew in 2013 when whole exome sequencing on the NCI-60 panel was published online, making it possible for the scientific community to mine the data in search of correlations between drug response/resistance and genetic signatures.

Pros and Cons of In Vitro Cell Line Screening

Cancer cell lines are certainly different from tumors, mainly because they are clonal (a homogenous population of cells), whereas tumors are very heterogeneous, made up of cells that sometimes carry different mutations and are surrounded by a complex microenvironment.

However the homogenous nature of a cancer cell line can also be an advantage during early stage drug discovery since it simplifies interpretation of the results. Although generations in culture can alter the genetic make-up and the behavior of cancer cells, the gene expression profiles of most human cancer cell lines grown in vitro stay faithful to their tissues of origin.

After more than 25 years of heavy use by researchers around the world, earlier this year the NCI decided to retire the NCI-60 from its drug screening programme to launch a repository of fresh patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models complemented with historic clinical data to answer the widespread push for cancer models with a closer link to the patients. While PDX are excellent in vivo tools (at CrownBio we provide the largest commercially available collection of around 3,000 PDX models), we feel that, used correctly, in vitro cell lines still have their place in oncology drug discovery, particularly for high-throughput compound screening. We have recently launched OmniScreen, a high-throughput screening platform for anticancer agents, run on a cycled schedule, that allows clients to select 50 cell lines from three different panels: OmniPanel, XenoSelect, or the RNAseq Panel, depending on their research needs.

OmniPanel includes a total of 352 cell lines from several tissues of origin, to allow clients to access a genomically diverse collection of cancer cell lines for drug response screening. XenoSelect includes 158 cancer cell lines, from which CrownBio has already developed corresponding xenograft models, to facilitate moving lead compounds from in vitro to in vivo testing. Last but not least the RNAseq Panel includes 139 cancer cell lines that are better aimed to biomarker discovery, as detailed in-house RNAseq data are available for this subset.

OmniScreen provides a more cost-effective solution for researchers as it runs multiple compounds simultaneously on a fixed schedule. The service also increases the flexibility of screening and template designs, allowing different subpanels of cell lines to meet the needs of a wider range of clients.

To learn more about OmniScreen, learn how our cell line panel compares to the NCI-60, or to enrol your agent contact us today at busdev@crownbio.com


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