Chordoma Foundation

Drug Screening Program

The Chordoma Foundation Drug Screening Program offers a centralized drug screening service to rapidly and cost-effectively assess the efficacy of potential new treatments for chordoma in preclinical models of the disease. A cornerstone of the Foundation’s Research Roadmap, this service enables efficient preclinical evaluation of promising therapies, providing crucial data needed to justify clinical trials and lowering the barrier to translating insights about chordoma into better treatments for chordoma patients.

This service eliminates the need for individual research groups to acquire, establish, and expand mouse models on their own, reducing time to set up drug screening experiments by a minimum of twelve months. Banking models and conducting screening centrally further affords significant cost savings because the expense of establishing and expanding the models is only incurred once, rather than each time a different research group wants to test a drug. Additional cost savings are realized through economies of scale provided by the ability to screen several compounds in parallel.

How it works

The Drug Screening Program is operated through a partnership with South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START), a San Antonio-based contract research laboratory that specializes in preclinical cancer drug development. The Foundation contracts with START to develop, bank, expand, and test patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and cell line-derived xenograft (CDX) models.

The Foundation continually identifies promising therapeutic approaches to test based on evidence in the literature and emerging findings from grantees and collaborators. Additionally, the Foundation accepts proposals for therapies to test from researchers in academia and industry. On an ongoing basis, the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board vets and prioritizes therapeutic approaches nominated internally as well as by external researchers.

Results from testing internally-nominated drugs are made public following completion of the experiments to enable researchers and companies to act upon these findings as quickly as possible. Results from externally-nominated drugs are shared with the collaborating research group or company under pre-agreed terms of data sharing.

Available models

Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and cell line-derived xenograft models (CDX) available for screening are shown in the table below. All models are rigorously validated to confirm chordoma-consistent histology and the presence of brachyury, a protein highly expressed in chordoma tumors.

Model name Type of model Origin Status
SF8894 PDX UCSF Available
U-CH1 CDX University of Ulm Available
ST087 PDX START In development
CF322 PDX Chordoma Foundation In development
CF455 PDX Chordoma Foundation In development
U-CH2 CDX University of Ulm In development