In honor of Glioblastoma Awareness Day (#GBMDay), Recombinetics today announced it has received a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to fund the development of a novel genetically engineered swine model of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. If successful, this model will be used to implement new therapeutic strategies and imaging methods into the clinic, resulting in better outcomes for patients diagnosed glioblastoma, who currently suffer from very short life expectancies following diagnosis.

This model will allow new therapies to be developed and evaluated pre-clinically, prior to human clinical trials, in hopes of developing safer and more effective therapies for patients suffering from this type of deadly brain tumor. While many small animal models of glioblastoma have been developed, the standard of care for glioblastoma has not changed significantly since 2005, despite nearly universally failing to cure patients.

“With a 5-year survival rate of less than 10% and a recurrence rate of over 90%, patients diagnosed with glioblastoma and their families need safer and more effective treatment options than those currently available,” said Adrienne Watson, Recombinetics Vice President of Research and Development and the project’s Principal Investigator. “We’re motivated to bring better treatments to patients living with glioblastoma, and we believe that our approach in swine is the ideal approach to expedite glioblastoma disease research and give patients and their families hope in the face of this devastating disease.”

Says Mark Platt, Chief Executive Officer of Recombinetics, “We are grateful to the NIH for this opportunity to advance human therapeutics through this customized swine model for preclinical research. Our groundbreaking discoveries will improve and innovate the drug and device development process by delivering biomedical swine models that more closely resemble a broad range of human conditions.”

Recombinetics’ biomedical subsidiary, Surrogen, will help execute the research and development efforts for this project.