Drugs: discovery and development
Exploring the mysteries of cancer response to targeted therapies
After oncology research, which gives us insight into cancer’s mechanisms and new ways we could fight it, comes the progress Tecan is enabling in cancer drug discovery and development. As this landscape continues to evolve, several trends have emerged. We are seeing an increased focus on rare cancer indications and innovative therapies such as gene and cell therapies, bispecific antibodies, viral vectors, and RNA therapy, as well as a push to speed up development through earlier and smarter clinical trials. Significant challenges include the complexity of developing drugs with novel modalities and the low success rate of bringing first-in-human drugs to market, especially for small patient populations with rare cancers. Despite all the progress, it is not clear why some patients respond very well to novel targeted therapies, but most patients do not.
Tecan’s role in cancer drug discovery and development
Tecan is an enabler at the forefront of cancer drug development, supporting genomics, proteomics, cell and tissue studies. As an example of our expanding role, Tecan’s recent acquisition of Paramit Corporation has enabled us to assist customers in discovering immuno-oncology drugs through the parallel screening of hundreds of antibody interactions. In effect, Paramit’s technology helped design and develop a novel high throughput platform for characterizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) through the combination of patented flow printing microfluidics and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection. The instrument allows the simultaneous screening of hundreds of antibody binding interactions in terms of binding kinetics, affinity, and epitope specificity, thereby helping to streamline mAb drug development by identifying the most promising leads in an antibody library.
Innovative solutions for cancer treatment
The custom solutions business at Tecan has enabled research for mRNA cancer vaccines through innovative industry projects that combine engineering, application knowledge, and a rigorous approach to project management. We recently provided a renowned global biotech company with multiple liquid handling systems and customized installations, enabling them to create personalized mRNA vaccines to treat various forms of cancer. These instruments also allowed our customer to rapidly develop a COVID-19 vaccine. All these examples demonstrate that Tecan’s commitment to supporting cancer drug discovery and development continues unabated.