Pharmaceutical drug development test tubes.jpg

Pharmaceutical Drug Development

The Critical Path from Bench to Bedside

For over 20 years, Dr. Nagourney and the team here at Nagourney Cancer Institute (formerly Rational Therapeutics) have been cost-effectively assisting pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms streamline the research process and more rapidly provide information not available within the current drug development process.

What We Can Do For You

Nagourney Cancer Institute has developed a human tumor primary culture platform (called EVA-PCD) for the study of drugs, biologic agents, radiation and drug combinations.

Cells isolated from surgical biopsies, peripheral blood, fluids and bone marrow aspirates are examined for drug-induced programmed cell death.  Incorporating the complexity of cell death, this platform measures both apoptotic and non-apoptotic events. 

Our laboratory has the capacity to obtain fresh, viable specimens for the isolation of micro-spheroids that have proven reflective of the clinical behavior of human tumors. 

Nagourney Cancer Institute has experience in drug development and drug synergy analysis, and has successfully applied these platforms to study the disease-specific efficacy of novel molecules.

Lower Your Costs Dramatically

Our low-cost EVA-PCD functional platform allows us to analyze the activity of your new compounds in multiple disease types at a fraction of the cost of other research avenues, identifying the most responsive diseases and eliminating tumor types with little activity.

Additionally, we can explore combinatorial potential, as well as synergy and sequence dependence. 

A recent analysis in Forbes magazine stated that the cost to bring a new drug to market has reached $5 billion.

While the cost of each individual compound comes closer to $350 million, the fact that 95 percent of new agents fail to achieve FDA approval burdens the industry with enormous un-recouped R&D expenses. 

Streamline Your Development

As the costs of drug development continue to climb, the early identification of disease specific, combinatorial and synergy analyses could streamline clinical development and curtail unnecessary expenditure of resources in getting your new compounds to market. 

Proven Results

Having proven the capacity of this platform to predict the activity of drugs like 2-CDA,[1] the Gemcitabine plus CDDP combination[2] and the EGFr antagonists,[3]Nagourney Cancer Institute is actively engaged in the study of the newest classes of compounds which target a wide variety of cellular signaling pathways.

Our EVA-PCD platform has been successful in the identification of a novel small molecule WNT inhibitor as reported in the lead article in PNAS April 2011.[4]  Click here for the article.

The EVA-PCD platform has been shown to correlate with clinical response, time to progression and survival in hematologic and solid tumors[5].

It provided a two-fold improvement in response (p = 0.0015) and near two-fold improvement in median overall survival (21.3 vs. 12.5 month) in previously untreated metastatic NSCLC3.

A meta-analysis of 2,581 patients revealed a 2.04 fold improvement in response and 1.44 fold improvement in 1 year survival.[6] 

Call us today at 800-542-4357 or email us through our Contact Us page to inquire about working with Dr. Nagourney and the team at Nagourney Cancer Institute to streamline your clinical development, curtail costs and get your novel agents to market sooner.



[1] Nagourney RA, Evans SS, Messenger JC, Dill PA, et al: 2-Chlorodeoxyadenosine activity and cross-resistance patterns in primary cultures of human hematologic neoplasms.  Br J Cancer 67:10-14, 1993.

[2] Nagourney RA, Deoxynucleoside Analogs in Cancer Therapy, (ed) G Peters, Humana Press 2006.

[3] Nagourney RA, et al. Functional Profiling of Human Tumors in Primary Culture: A Platform for Drug Discovery and Therapy Selection: Proc AACR, 2008.

[4] Gonsalvez FC, et al. RNAi-Based Screen Identifies Three New Classes of Small Molecule Inhibitors of The Wnt/Wingless Signaling Pathway. PNAS Vol 108, No 15:5954-5963, April 2011.

[5] Nagourney RA. Ex Vivo Programmed Cell Death and the Prediction of Response to Chemotherapy. Curr Treat Options in Oncol. 7:103-110, 2006.

[6] Apfel, al Accuracy and Clinical Utility Of In Vitro Cytometric Profiling To Personalize Chemotherapy: Preliminary Findings Of A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis. Amer Soc of Clin Oncol 2013 (Abst #e22188).


How We Test Your Cancer

See the process we use to test your living cancer cells in the laboratory in order to find the most effective and least toxic regimen for your cancer.