November 22, 2016 – Leiden, The Netherlands and Freiburg, Germany


Driven forward by the top ranking 2016 Eurostars program (value 1.5 mln euro) in both Germany and The Netherlands, OcellO and Charles River Laboratories launch their strategic partnership to provide unique integrated in vitro and in vivo oncology services using the Charles River collection of PDX tumour models. OcellO will use human tumour material from Charles River PDX models and apply these in their 3D cell culture drug screening platform. This high throughput platform enables the growth of micro-tumours in a natural extracellular matrix environment and uses automated 3D imaging to analyse the effects of small molecules and antibodies on tumour development. This approach will enable the screening of lead molecules in panels of PDX tumours in vitro, identifying the optimum tumour models for subsequent in vivo studies. The first series of in vitro PDX assays will be launched at the 28th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics taking place in Munich on 29th November.


PDX models utilise patient tumour material and are the gold standard for in vivo oncology drug testing.  However, conventional in vitro methods using 2D monolayer cultures of transformed cell lines fail to adequately predict compound effects in vivo; due to serial passaging and selection, cell lines deviate from the original patient tumour. Furthermore, monolayer cultures fail to recapitulate the in vivo tumour architecture and tumour cell biology.  The companion in vitro-in vivo PDX models offered by OcellO and Charles River overcome these problems. Using the same tumour material in vitro and in vivo enables a uniquely high translation between these models. This will reduce timelines, compound use and increase success rates in vivo.


Leo Price, CEO and founder of OcellO, commented: “The collaboration with Charles River to align in vitro and in vivo testing makes complete sense; using Charles River’s human tumour material in OcellO’s platform allows us to provide the most clinically relevant biology for in vitro testing to our customers and the direct translation to in vivo models represents an effective pipeline for early drug discovery. We are delighted to enter into this strategic partnership and expect that it will enable both companies to strengthen their position in the CRO oncology field.


“We are excited to combine OcellO’s 3D culture and imaging technology and Charles River’s patient derived xenograft (PDX) models,” said Aidan Synnott, Oncology Site Director for Charles River Laboratories. “This partnership will allow us to provide a more robust early discovery offering for our oncology clients. Our goal is to improve translational results for our clients, which will ultimately increase positive outcomes for patients.”


Charles River Laboratories provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. In November 2015, Charles River announced the acquisition of Oncotest GmbH. With Oncotest, Charles River is able to leverage an extensive collection of more than 400 patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumor models, as well as a full range of in vitro assays using both commercially available and proprietary PDX-derived cell lines.


OcellO is a CRO that offers drug screening and profiling services using 3D cell culture models of cancers and other diseases. OcellO uses high-content 3D imaging and analysis to measure drug effects, extracting clinically relevant information on compound effects.

For more information:

Leo Price, CEO

Phone: +31 71 3322 875

Email: [email protected]

For more info on the Charles River Laboratories PDX collection visit the CR website here or contact [email protected]