RCI’s Biomedical Division, Surrogen, Delivers Humanized Swine Models to Improve Human Health

Surrogen’s Gene-Editing Breakthroughs Will Accelerate Preclinical Success

The cost of bringing a drug or device to market is staggering and the time required to obtain approval is prohibitively long. Consequently, there is considerable interest improving strategies to predict the effects of new therapeutic devices, agents, and protocol. Surrogen_logo

Surrogen is providing solutions to find patient cures faster. We precisely simulate the onset and progression of human disease in swine – animals more similar to humans. Using proprietary and patented genome editing and advanced reproduction techniques, Surrogen creates humanized medical models in swine that are an ideal match for growing numbers of genetically-driven diseases.


Traditional Animal Models Are Failing

currant-mouseAlthough rodents are widely used in pharmaceutical development, there are numerous examples of drugs working successfully in rodents and failing in humans. Even genetically-induced rodent models have significant limitations and often do not mimic results in humans. Flawed animal models lead to costly and frequent failure of preclinical studies, and delay patients receiving life-saving treatments.

The Swine Model Advantage

sky-pigSurrogen’s gene-edited swine provide an unrivaled advantaged over traditional animal models. Swine are and/or have:

  • The pig is one of the closest non-primate species to humans,
  • Organ systems highly similar to humans,currant-piglet
  • 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 period (three months, three weeks, three days).

Surrogen’s Swine Models of Human Disease rci_infographic15

Surrogen’s “humanized” swine disease models as a research platform is a breakthrough that will transform preclinical research. These models may be the closest models to humans ever developed. Surrogen is developing humanized swine models of these categories of diseases:

Surrogen’s medical models provide:

  • 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.

A Faster Path to Cures

Surrogen edits the genetic code of swine, creating ideal animal models for testing pharmaceuticals and devices.


The Genome Editing Advantage

Inv-Deck-Pg-27Scientists 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.

Custom Model Development Process

Surrogen has the capability to design a virtually unlimited number of genetically-optimized swine models that will address many challenges to successful trials using the current market animal models. Here are the steps for custom model development:

  • Planning & Design
  • Tool Assembly & Cell Engineering
  • Prototype Animal Production
  • Secure Partnership
  • Scale-Up Specification Study
  • Completion

Contact Us

Learn how the Surrogen team can help your preclinical research efforts and help you succeed more quickly. Contact William at info@surrogen.com or 612-727-2000.