New Name - Same Quality Game: 10 Reasons Why
Eurofins Discovery builds its industry-leading reputation on successfully delivering best-in-class outsourcing CRO services to organizations large and small. No matter where you are in the preclinical drug discovery process — or if you need end-to-end solutions — their experts support you every step of the way with purpose, precision, and innovation. Here are 10 reasons why a name change supports the way they bring quality service to their global clientele.
What inspired the name change from Phenotypic Services to Translational Biology?
Simply put, our services play a larger role in drug discovery, and we want customers to benefit from services that span exploration to preclinical platforms. We recently added services that include development of primary cell models from normal and diseased human tissue. We also realize there are varying interpretations of the term ‘phenotypic’; the most common definition applies to morphological change, biochemical change or other functional observations. We think translational biology more accurately describes and encompasses our broader applications that provide predictive value. Translational approaches assess complex biological influences to report results closer to clinical outcomes than more narrow or target-based approaches.
How would you define Translational Biology?
Translational biology allows scientists to make leaps to clinical studies more efficiently and effectively through biology-based, clinically relevant assays, disease models and readouts. It is a critical program for drug discovery, not only to move therapies forward with a higher probability of success, but also to provide insights for early triage and fail fast strategies.
In discovery and development of new therapies, the goal is to understand and address a specific disease, or biological pathway leading to that disease, with the ultimate objective of bridging what happens in the experimental biology preclinical setting to the human patient clinical setting. Translational biology is that bridge, and our portfolio of growing assays and services helps our clients succeed.
How does Eurofins Discovery bring Translational Biology solutions to the industry?
We are all on this journey together, to bring safe and effective medicines to patients. Towards this goal, we support our industry, academic, nonprofit and government collaborators by becoming a part of their team, invested in successful outcomes. We listen to our clients, recognize a shared vision and lead the industry to provide unmet needs as technology and regulatory requirements evolve. We bring a positive attitude towards custom studies and appreciate the opportunity to serve a wide range of markets beyond biopharma, including nutraceutical, food & beverage and cosmetic industries.
What tools are in the Eurofins Discovery Translational Biology toolkit?
Eurofins Discovery has a wide range of lab equipment and expertise to meet program requirements, including high content imaging, flow cytometry, Luminex®, Meso Scale Discovery, surface plasmon resonance, 3D spheroid generation, primary cell model and method development. Our BioMAP® Platform allows clients to predict how their molecules will behave in the clinic and to understand the mechanism-of-action of their molecules; this translates to more efficacious and safer medicines for patients. Our OncoPanel™ Platform enables clients to define and expand the oncology indications of their molecules. We offer a broad range of services to benchmark to, or reveal new, biomarkers to help design personalized care or therapeutic monitoring for therapies across diverse patient groups. Our Translational Cell Models team provides highly characterized human tissue-derived cells from both diseased and healthy tissue to ensure translationally relevant in vitro models for functional testing.
What are a few innovations coming out of Eurofins Discovery Translational Biology, and how do you envision expanding Translational Biology Services in the years to come?
We lead the industry by providing a broad range of in vitro oncology models, including those for assessment of candidates and combinations in the tumor microenvironment. We are committed to providing our clients with new cell models to ensure access to the broadest set of panels available. Within the next year, we plan to add over 100 new cancer cell models to our existing 300+ assay panel, and we’ve recently integrated direct tumor-derived human primary cell models from patient disease tissues. In addition to new services in oncology, we now have a sensory model for taste cell biology, which is very exciting. The teams are expanding our databases of standards of care reference drugs for several of our platforms, as well as adding to our industry-emerging standards of care benchmarks. We’re in the process of adding new services to our Biomarker Services standard catalogue — including research solutions for cytokines induced by viruses and other pathogens. Innovations such as complex co-cultures, organs-on-a-chip, iPSC cells, spheroids and more, together with the ability to analyze large datasets common with phenotypic approaches, are fueling a renaissance in phenotypic drug discovery.
How does Eurofins differ from the competition when it comes to Translational Biology?
One key differentiator is that our solutions are forward thinking in terms of the regulatory environment. Increased recognition and adoption of new approach methodologies, such as the BioMAP Platform, are solutions that help industry comply with the move towards non-animal alternatives, and we are leading contributors in alliances with large pharma companies to this end. Another differentiator is our inimitable leadership stance in quality. We take pride in – and are known for – reliable, reproducible data. In fact, we have clients coming to us based on dissatisfaction in working with other CROs. That speaks volumes.
What is the value of human primary cell in vitro disease models, compared to animal models?
While animal models may be necessary in certain instances, for example, if regulatory agencies require them, or to model biology that cannot be modeled in vitro such as tissue distribution, animal biology in general does not reflect the biology of humans. There are differences in gene and protein sequences, and physical tissue architecture that can influence the response to a therapy. Utilizing human primary cell disease models bring us closer to clinical outcomes. These models provide high value in the context of shifts in the regulatory environment to more broadly allow, and even mandate, use of innovative in vitro approaches to reduce, refine and when possible replace animal models.
What is the meaning of the new Translational Biology Center of Excellence badge?
Our new badge reflects our focus on describing the function of translational biology – to drive discovery programs forward – rather than as a collection of parts or services. The circular imagery of the badge, with its forward motion, illustrates the concept that drug discovery is an iterative process, all the while moving forward. The distinct swooshes reflect the idea that clients are able to benefit from our portfolio at various phases, from early discovery and hit to lead, to lead optimization and preclinical safety.
Will access to study teams change? Will there still be Study Directors available to discuss projects?
Access to study teams remains an important part of how Eurofins Discovery serves our clients. The Translational Biology team is filled with experienced technical talent at the bench, quality-minded operational leadership and scientific and technical subject matter experts across diverse therapeutic areas. Study Directors work in collaboration with clients to ensure that studies are well designed, and although are often the main point of contact, behind them is a team of dedicated individuals with broad experience in drug discovery applications.
In light of the name change, how does Eurofins Discovery plan to provide the same great service?
Although our name is changing, our mission remains the same — to ease our clients’ journey from concept to clinic. Our quality management promise governs every scope of our business, and as our reach grows into new service areas, our business model and operations excellence keeps pace. The Eurofins Discovery team of experts is proven through 30+ years’ service in drug discovery. We continue to prioritize robust platforms, scientific expertise and quality data for all clients, present and future.