Human Response Platform™
AVEO’s proprietary Human Response Platform™ is the foundation on which the company was built in 2002 by world-renowned cancer researchers, Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Lynda Chin, M.D., chair of the Department of Genomic Medicine and scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, with the goal of creating new mouse models that would better inform the design and patient selection for oncology clinical trials, and ultimately lead to the development of new cancer therapies.
The Human Response Platform was designed to overcome many of the limitations of traditional approaches to modeling human cancer. In the traditional method of modeling human cancer, known as a xenograft model, cells are adapted from a human tumor to grow in a petri dish and then injected in a mouse, where they grow into tumors. However, the resulting tumors differ from the original tumor in important respects, and accordingly, xenograft models are often poor predictors of the success of cancer drugs in human clinical trials.
Our Human Response Platform uses patented genetic engineering techniques to grow populations of spontaneous tumors in animals containing human-relevant, cancer-causing mutations and tumor variation akin to what is seen in populations of human tumors. Because these populations of tumors better replicate what is seen in human cancer, our Human Response Platform provides AVEO with unique insights into cancer biology and mechanisms of drug response and resistance, and represents a significant improvement over traditional approaches.
We are utilizing our Human Response Platform alone and with our strategic partners to identify and validate target genes which drive tumor growth; evaluate drugs which can block the function of these targets; and, identify biomarkers, which are indicators of drug response and resistance in patients, in an effort to evaluate which patients are most likely to respond favorably to treatment with such drugs. The potential identification and development of relevant biomarkers through the Human Response Platform is a core component of AVEO’s oncology drug development efforts.
AVEO’s Proprietary Human Tissue Transgenic HIM Model
The power and versatility of AVEO’s mouse model platform is greatly enhanced by our patented method of making chimeric mouse models. In addition to this method of creating novel tumor models, the company has also developed a model of human breast cancer in which many of these same features have been applied to genetically modified human breast tissue. This human-in-mouse (HIM) model is created by first isolating normal human breast tissue from surgical specimens, genetically modifying it to express oncogenes, and then introducing the modified tissue into specially engineered mice. The modified breast tissue first grows into normal breast tissue, but then rapidly develops into human breast tumors while growing in the mouse breast tissue.