CXR Biosciences has expanded its repertoire of drug discovery services by launching an Investigative Toxicology service using Transcriptional Profiling. This technology measures changes in gene expression following exposure to compounds and enhances the ability to determine if toxicity data from preclinical studies is relevant to man. If the reported toxicity can be demonstrated to be species specific and irrelevant to humans, valuable compounds may be saved.
Transcriptional profiling is a powerful genomics technology for quantifying mRNA expression levels that uses a genetic microarray scanning system produced by the leading US company Agilent. CXR Biosciences has recently successfully obtained accreditation from Agilent, to act as a certified ‘Agilent Service Provider’ to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. CXR Biosciences is only the second company in Europe to meet the stringent quality standards required to obtain such accreditation. CXR Biosciences are pioneering use of
this ‘cutting edge’ technology in the area of investigative toxicology, a field where CXR is a world leader.
Transcriptional profiling is a powerful tool for mechanistic toxicology as it provides a global view of drug-induced changes in gene expression. This provides a unique capability to distinguish pathways that relate to the pharmacological or toxicological properties of the test compounds. It is particularly useful when little is known about the toxic mechanisms, or where toxic effects are only manifest later in life or during development. This new technique, in addition to potentially “rescuing” promising drugs that could be otherwise abandoned, will provide insights into drug mechanisms of action, and define novel toxic mechanisms. The high sensitivity of the Agilent gene array technology allows analysis of very small amounts of tissue, which facilitates its pre-clinical use to elucidate toxic mechanisms, as well as identify pharmacodynamic endpoints in clinical trials.
Dr Tom Shepherd CEO of CXR Biosciences stated, “Harnessing this powerful technology to solve toxicological problems will greatly assist our ability to help clients understand unexpected results, and rescue lead compounds, or compound series, that may otherwise have been abandoned. This powerful tool will also complement CXR’s skill in reducing the late stage attrition of compounds in development. We are delighted to obtain this independent accreditation from Agilent as it reflects the high quality standards under which we perform all of our contract work, and helps establish CXR’s position as a European leader in applying new approaches in preclinical development.” Michael O’Meara, manager of Agilent’s worldwide certified service provider program stated, “In becoming an Agilent Certified Services Provider, CXR Biosciences has demonstrated the ability to reliably deliver optimal performance of Agilent’s microarray system, which provides a high sensitivity ideal for oncology and toxicology research. This should provide customers with added confidence in the quality of CXR’s service.”