Atelerix work with RareCan, NovoPath and the Rare Cancer Research Group

Atelerix work with RareCan, NovoPath and the Rare Cancer Research Group

Freshly obtained clinical tissue is used for several purposes including advanced diagnostic techniques, basic research and establishing physiologically relevant models for drug discovery. A major challenge in the procurement of fresh tissue is the deterioration of integrity and cell viability during storage and distribution to tissue users. This restricts the geographical reach over which tissue can be transported and creates scheduling difficulties between the clinic where the tissue is excised, and the testing/research site where it is used. For these reasons, methods to extend the viable shelf life of fresh tissue are desperately needed.

Within this Innovate UK-supported project, Atelerix worked with RareCan, NovoPath and Rare Cancer Research Group at the University of Sheffield to further develop and validate Atelerix’s TissueReady™ product for the stabilisation of fresh tissues. Using ethically obtained tumour tissue, a newly developed formulation of TissueReady™ (TissueReady™PLUS) was assessed. Oesophagus, liver and kidney cancer samples were selected for suitability before being stored at room temperature in either TissueReady™ PLUS or standard medium. TissueReady™ PLUS demonstrated superior performance in the preservation of histological integrity and epitope presentation, and samples could be further used to yield high amounts of genomic material or probe DNA using in situ hybridisation. Furthermore, storage and shipment of tumour tissue for 4-5 days in TissueReady™ PLUS resulted in no loss of inviable normal and cancerous cells following dissociation.

“We are very happy with the outcomes of this study. It is hoped that TissueReady™ PLUS will become an invaluable tool for preserving fresh tissues and supporting the development of new treatments for cancer and other diseases. Access to clinical tissue with high viability and integrity is a major barrier to the establishment of models for drug discovery and there is considerable waste of precious disease-relevant samples as they simply can’t get to the site where they can be processed in time. The expertise and skill exhibited by RareCan, NovoPath and the University of Sheffield have been critical to this project’s success, and we hope to work with them again”.

Steve Swioklo, Chief Scientific Officer, Atelerix.

"Having access to good quality samples from patients is a pre-requisite for finding better ways to prevent, diagnose and cure rare cancers. Atelerix have developed a way to maintain sample integrity which is essential to reduce pre-analytical variables which can invalidate even the most carefully performed laboratory research".

Professor Andy Hall, Founding Director, RareCan.



We would like to thank the work carried out by NovoPath and the University of Sheffield that has contributed to the successful completion of this Innovate UK Combined Investor Partnership, Reference Number 10023300.

Karen Sisley - Senior Lecturer
Rare Cancer Research Group
School of Medicine and Population Health
University of Sheffield


Claire Jones -
Advanced Biomedical Scientist
NovoPath Biobank
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust

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