New Approaches to Pre-clinical Evaluation of Anti-cancer Drugs

Morrow and Dr. Matthew Gevaert discuss Kiyatec's technology at their Greenville SC facility

December 24, 2013

Pharma companies have a dismal rate of successful advance of new drugs through pre-clinical evaluation to final approval ( A major roadblock is the inability of cell culture to act as an accurate predictor of response of anti-cancer drugs in actual patient trials. Now Kiyatec (, a Greenville SC biotech, is developing an alternative platform for evaluation of chemotherapeutic agents. Cells grown or in environments that mimic the conditions inside the human body have been shown to better predict patient treatment outcomes. The company has designed systems for growing cells in three dimensions, rather than as conventional monolayers. They are currently following patients undergoing therapy for various cancers, comparing the response of their tumors cell in 3D configurations with the actual response of the patients to the particular chemotherapy that they are experiencing. 

On a recent visit to Greenville, CEO Matthew Gevaert, PhD, explained his company's technology to me. He and his colleagues have designed plastic single use culture devices that use gels to culture the tumor cells, allowing them to form 3D structures. The cells can be fed and continuously and monitored for their response. These trials will lay the groundwork for further investigation, and an assessment of the the role of 3D cell culture in cancer treatment.   


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