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Human Tissue and Human Tissue-Based Research Services




Asterand plc is the leading global supplier of high quality, well characterised human tissue and human tissue-based research services to drug discovery scientists.

Asterand’s mission is to provide human based solutions to accelerate the identification and validation of drug targets and enhance the selection of drug candidates with an increased likelihood of clinical success.

Asterand plc has a well established human tissue heritage, having been formed in 2006 through the merger of Asterand (founded 2000), a human tissue biorepository and Pharmagene (founded 1996) a human tissue-based drug discovery company. Our expertise has been further strengthened following the acquisition of BioSeek in February 2010. BioSeek (founded 2000) brings proprietary, primary cell-based models of human disease biology that provide early insight into human pharmacological and toxicological properties of compounds through comparison of resulting data profiles with an established and growing database of profiles for known compounds.

Human tissue procurement, characterisation and research

With this background and capibility in human tissue procurement, characterisation and research, Asterand is uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive approach to meet the research needs of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. From our offices in Royston (UK), Detroit (MI) and San Francisco (CA) we have more than 100 employees focused on providing services and products to accelerate drug discovery research from target identification through to compound evaluation and drug safety.

Human tissue-based models for clinical trials

Pharmaceutical research is at a critical crossroads. Despite a dramatic increase in R&D budgets, the number of new drug applications is falling because the failure rate in clinical trials remains high. Researchers have always known that animal models provide only a partial guide to drug response in humans. Thus, scientists are becoming increasingly reliant upon human tissue-based models to bridge this knowledge gap and improve decision making during the development of medicines for man.

Active collaborative donor institutions

Asterand offers unparalleled access to human tissue through its worldwide network of 100 active collaborative donor institutions. Our XpressBANKTM biobank contains several hundred thousand specimens from a broad range of therapeutic areas and with diverse ethnic representation. Our tissues provide high value to our clients; the quantity of material provided for each sample allows scientists to conduct multiple experiments using a single specimen. In addition, our renowned quality assurance procedures provide stringent controls on specimen collection and characterisation and on the corresponding clinical data. As part of this process, we also independently confirm pathology and assess RNA integrity of our tissues. Our quality control results are provided to researchers before they purchase so they can choose samples that will best meet their scientific requirements. Through our ProCURETM service, human tissues and clinical data can also be custom collected to meet special requirements. This includes the collection of follow-up data related to patient outcome.

Human tissue research

Asterand’s Services division offers exemplary scientific expertise in human tissue research, with experience in providing top multinational pharmaceutical companies with human tissue-based services since 1996. Through our PhaseZERO® drug discovery services platform, we provide a collaborative scientific approach to deliver human tissue-based data on target & biomarker validation as well as compound potency, efficacy, disposition and safety. Our studies can be custom designed and are conducted on a fee-for-service basis where our clients own and retain all resulting IP and data.

Human primary cell based disease systems

Through our BioMAP® platform, we provide a comprehensive panel of human primary cell based disease systems that replicate the intricate cellular interactions present in inflammatory, autoimmune, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Employing these automated systems enables pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to receive rapid input on mechanism of action, efficacy and side effect profiles of drug candidates, providing actionable data to guide lead selection and optimisation.


Asterand, plc.
TechOne Suite 501
440 Burroughs
Detroit, MI 48202-3420
United States
Tel. + 1 (313) 263-0960
(US Toll Free) 1.866.3TISSUE
Fax: +1 (313) 263.0961
Asterand, plc.
2 Orchard Road
Royston, Herts
United Kingdom
Tel. +44 (0) 1763 211600
Fax. +44 (0) 1763 211555
Eolas Biosciences Co. Ltd.
134-5-1-918 Shinsaku,
Chiba-ken 271-0052
Tel: +81-47-308-2204
Fax: +81-47-308-2104

Compound Evaluation

The greatest reason for drug candidates failing during clinical development remains a lack of desired clinical effect. In addition many promising test compounds still fall out of development due to unforeseen side effects or unfavorable pharmacokinetic profiles1,2.

Asterand performs a variety of human cell-based assays to generate data that support the identification and selection of compounds with the best characteristics for further pre-clinical and clinical development. Studies can be designed to determine the potency, effect, disposition and safety of test compounds in human tissues. Data generated in human tissue-based models allows pre-clinical…

Consulting Services & Licensing

Asterand's expertise in supplying human bio-specimens and drug discovery research services has provided a platform for expanding its business into biobank consulting, biobank mining research and drug compound licensing collaborations.

As one of the first suppliers of human bio-specimens to researchers, Asterand's expertise in the area of biomaterial collection, processing and storage is renowned. The company provides consulting services on the management of biobanks to pharmaceutical companies as well as academic and research institutions, globally. This expertise was affirmed by the recent award of a…

Human Tissues & Biofluids

Asterand is a leading global supplier of human tissues and biofluids with accompanying clinical information for research purposes.

Our XpressBANKTM biobank contains several hundred thousand samples from a broad range of anatomic sites, diseases and with diverse ethnic representation. All of our biospecimens are obtained using stringent standard operating procedures and ethical protocols to provide assurance to the researcher that the materials will meet their scientific needs.For our clients requiring tissue samples with…

Target Identification & Validation

Asterand's PhaseZERO® Drug Discovery Services platform utilises human tissues in vitro to generate data that drive target validation and support decision making for progressing the best targets.

The services we provide apply across a range of different therapeutic research areas. Click here to download a summary of which PhaseZERO® services can be accessed within your therapeutic area of interest.Our goalWe aim to provide data to support the validation of human targets and biomarkers to facilitate selection of those with the greatest likelihood…
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