Certis Oncology Offers Translational Science Services to Pharmaceutical Industry, Welcomes New Business Development Leader

Certis Oncology Solutions, a precision oncology and translational sciences company, announced it will make available its personalized approach to drug efficacy testing to the commercial pharmaceutical industry. Industry veteran Debbie Snyder-Stanton has joined the company as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Business Development.

“More than half of all new cancer drugs fail in clinical trials due to problems with efficacy,” said Peter Ellman, Certis Oncology CEO. “Certis will leverage our success using orthotopic patient-derived xenograft (O-PDX) models in precision oncology to offer industry a better choice for translational drug development,” he said. “While this approach takes specialized scientific expertise, no other modality offers greater certainty of tumor response than this type of in vivo testing.”

The Certis approach is rooted in a technology rapidly gaining prominence in basic research: orthotopic patient derived xenograft (O-PDX) models. By surgically engrafting a small tissue specimen of a patient’s tumor into the anatomically correct place in immunocompromised mice, scientists create mouse “avatars” of the patient’s cancer. The resulting O-PDX models enable simultaneous, in vivo functional assays of multiple therapeutic options in the laboratory. A large body of academic literature demonstrates superior concordance between orthotopic models and human subjects when compared to the subcutaneous and cell-derived PDX models that are more commonly used in commercial drug development. The modality also can be employed in mouse–human co-clinical trials, in which an experimental therapy is simultaneously tested in clinical trial participants and mouse models derived from tumors of those same patients. While not yet widely adopted by industry, co-clinical trials represent a promising opportunity for developing new combination treatments, identifying predictive biomarkers and providing insights into acquired cancer drug resistance.

Debbie Snyder-Stanton is the newest member of the Certis executive team. A contract research organization (CRO) industry veteran, Debbie has more than 20 years’ experience in business development, operations, product management and marketing in the oncology field. She started her career as a laboratory scientist at the British Columbia BC Cancer Terry Fox Lab before helping to grow four successful startup companies: StemCell Technologies, VSM MedTech, TD2 and Crown Biosciences. Prior to joining Certis, Debbie held positions as Executive Director, Business Development of Crown Bioscience Inc, and Vice President of Business Development at TGen’s Translational Drug Development (TD2). She earned her M.B.A at Simon Fraser University, and a Medical Laboratory Science Degree at the University of Manitoba, Red River Community College.

Certis Oncology Solutions
Kristein King