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Project name:

EIC Pathfinder Open 2023 – Looking for company or research institution to test and validate in vitro tumor models using anti-cancer drugs

Status: Idea
Creation date: 20-12-2022

Project objectives:

Short summary Two German and a Spanish research partners are looking for a partner for entering the EIC pathfinder open call in 2023. The planned project aims at generating patient-derived tumor spheroids or organoids as models for the native tumor. A special focus will be attributed to the tumor matrix. The partners are looking for a company or research institution from outside Germany or Spain to work on the substance screening. The project lead is already provided.

Full description The partners want to enter the EIC pathfinder open call in 2023 with the vision of creating a personalized in vitro testing platform to enable pre-therapeutic screening and drug development. Currently, there are no in vitro models available that sufficiently represent the native tumor’s physiology. 2D cell lines exhibit vastly different characteristics, and available tumor spheroids are not personalized. Generating patient-specific tumor models in immunosuppressed mice is possible, but requires a large number of testing animals per patient. The consortium seeks to overcome these drawbacks of the current models, and will focus on breast cancer during this project. Patient-derived tumor stem cells are at the core of the new in vitro models. These will be isolated by a clinical partner who will also provide primary and xenograft tumor material. A second partner will perform non-destructive 3D-imaging of the tumors to create in silico models of the tissue. At this point, the cell and matrix architecture will be quantified. The third partner with expertise in biomaterials will then produce scaffolds that can be seeded with the isolated cells. These scaffolds will be optimized to provide suitable cell-matrix-interactions and realize a close representation of the original tumor. The models must then be tested and validated using anti-cancer drugs. The consortium is looking for a partner to perform this task. The research focus of this project part can be adjusted according to the partner’s interest – e.g. drug delivery, parameter testing, substance-cell-interactions. Overall, we want to investigate whether we can produce models that are close enough to reality to serve as a represent of the patient in pre-treatment screening or drug discovery – better than current 2D models or unpersonalized spheroids, and without the need for lab animals.

Technical Specification or Expertise Sought Capability of performing pharmaceutical screenings with multiple anti-cancer drugs. The number of spheroids for testing will likely be limited, so true high-throughput testing will not be necessary. The ability to investigate the treatment success should be present as well. Apart from this core task, the research focus can be adjusted according to the partner’s interest

Contact / source: NEXT EEN Widgets (


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