For Preclinical Research

Delivering Better Models to Understand Human Disease

The demand for patient cures is great. Unfortunately, the cost of bringing a new drug to the clinic is staggering (approximately $1B) and the time required to obtain FDA approval is prohibitively long (approximately 10 years). According to the accounting firm Deloitte, in 2019 the pharmaceutical industry will suffer a 92% failure rate and waste over $100B in R&D spending. This leads to the incalculable toll on human lives.

Consequently, there is considerable interest in improving strategies that expedite research and predict the safety and efficacy of new drugs, devices, and protocols.

Surrogen is doing its part by providing better research models that replicate human diseases in pigs, animals that are more similar to humans by nearly every measure over commonly-used mice. Surrogen's expertise in molecular and cellular biology, genomics, embryology, animal husbandry, and production enable disease researchers the ability to answer questions about a disease or therapeutics that other models cannot.

Surrogen pigs enable a more thorough examination of the onset and progression of human disease, and the safety and efficacy of therapeutics designed to arrest it.


Pigs Models of Human Diseases

Surrogen’s Pig Models of Human Disease

When compared to traditional animal disease models, Surrogen’s gene edited pigs offer better quality data, improved decision making, decreased product development time, and ultimately a lower R&D costs to the drug and device industries. In addition, Surrogen’s gene-edited models have the ability to show comorbidity environments that more closely resemble real-world disease states.

Surrogen is developing humanized swine models of these categories of diseases:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Congenital Conditions
  • Hereditary & Neonatal Diseases
  • Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
Young doctor looking at her patient's xray photo

The Pig Model Advantage

Surrogen’s gene-edited pigs provide an unrivaled advantaged over traditional animal models. Pigs are and/or have:

  • One of the closest non-primate species to humans,
  • Organ systems highly similar to humans,
  • Advanced cognitive abilities,
  • Well-established for the use in preclinical research,
  • Well-established for use of skin and heart valves in the clinic, and
  • Fast gestation periods (three months, three weeks, three days).

Surrogen could help your preclinical R&D program to give it:

  • Increased speed-to-market,
  • Lower research costs,
  • Reduced failure rates,
  • Customizable options,
  • Means to evaluate diseases with small patient populations,
  • Ways to examine interventions systemically, and
  • Opportunities to make better products.

The Genome Editing Advantage

Scientists have identified more than 10,000 single gene mutations that play roles in diseases and medical conditions. Surrogen leverages its world-leading expertise in the use of gene-editing tools like transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas9) and others to design optimized swine models for a wide array of disease-causing mutations identical to those in human patients. Thus, we are creating disease models in swine that are genetically identical and highly similar to humans.

female researcher carrying out research experiments in a chemistry lab (color toned image)

Thought Leadership

About Cancer

Engineered swine models of cancer
Published in the Frontiers in Genetics

Genetically engineered minipigs model the major clinical features of human neurofibromatosis type 1
Published in Nature’s Communication Biology

A new tool for mapping breast cancer risk in the tumor microenvironment
Published in Cancer Research

About Cardiovascular Disease

Peripheral vascular atherosclerosis in a novel PCSK9 gain-of-function mutant Ossabaw miniature pig model
Published in Translational Research  

About Orphan Disease

TALEN-based gene correction for epidermolysis bullosa
Published in Molecular Therapy

About Gene Editing and Advanced Reproduction of Pigs

In vivo genome editing using a high-efficiency TALEN system
Published in Nature

Precision editing of large animal genomes
Published in Advances in Genetics

Efficient TALEN-mediated gene knockout in livestock
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Precise genome editing of PDX1 by direct injection of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENS) into Parthenogenetic Pig Embryos
Published in Reproduction, Fertility and Development

Efficient Nonmeiotic Allele Introgression in Livestock Using Custom Endonucleases
Published in Proceedings of National of the National Academy of Sciences

Editing Livestock Genomes with Site-Specific Nucleases
Published in the Journal of Reproduction, Fertility and Development

Live pigs produced from genome edited zygotes
Published in Scientific Reports

TALEN-mediated gene targeting in porcine spermatogonia
Published in Molecular Reproduction and Development

Simple and efficient methods for enrichment and isolation of endonuclease modified cells
Published in PLOS One