“Animal Models” platform

Coordinator: Dominique Tierny –Veterinary doctor at the ONCOVET clinic and CEO of OCR (Oncovet Clinical Research,) – Founder and director


Missions of the “Animal models” platform

This platform has the objective to propose to ONCOLille researchers, the most relevant animal models for pre-clinical research in Oncology: the classical experimental mouse models but also the animal models suffering from spontaneous tumors (dogs & cats).

The platform is available and is supporting all ONCOLille’s research projects.

While the platform was set up, all the animal models and expertises already developed on-site as well as researchers’ needs were identified and referenced.  This process has strongly improved the relevant and efficiency of animal use during preclinical trials.


Platform structuration

The “animal model” platform is composed of 4 structures:

– The High-Tech Animal Facility situated on the university hospital campus and the High-Tech Animal and Experimental Facility situated at the Pasteur Institut of Lille. Those two facilities display state-of-the-art competencies in development of murine models: transgenic mice, xenografts, orthotopic grafts, induced models…

– The Oncology Veterinary center Oncovet  specialized in the cancer treatment of pet animals suffering from spontaneous tumors (dogs, cats).

– The Oncovet Clinical Research company (OCR)  managed by Dominique Tierny, which is a contract research company aimed toward researchers and pharmaceutical companies (human and animal health). OCR goal is to promote the Human-animal comparative medicine (one health) for the cancer care joint development and to give pet animals the access to preclinical trials. Such trials take place just before trials on human or at the same time as the early phase of human clinical trials. This allows dogs and cats to benefit from the most innovative therapies against cancer. OCR displays also many services associated to clinical studies and of great interest for cancer research (immune-monitoring, anatomo-histology, immunohistochemistry, dog and cat tumor biobank…).


Focus on OCR: a contract research company at the vanguard of human-animal one-health benefit

Founding statement

Dogs and cats can develop tumors very similar to the human ones by their origin and therapeutic response. Based on this statement, OCR Company has allowed the development of a human-animal common medicine, avant-gardist in France but well known in the USA. OCR, in close collaboration with Oncovet veterinarian experts and other veterinary investigation centers in France and Europe, is promoting the unbreakable link between human and animals through it constant researches on comparative “one-health” medicine.

Double objectives

  • To allow pharmaceutical laboratories to limit new drug-candidates development failure and accelerate their clinical trials for a quicker therapeutic availability for human.
  • To promote veterinarian medicine by allowing animal access to innovative treatments and reducing the cancer therapy costs for their masters.

Dog and cat tumor biobank: a promise of future and a major founding toward cutting-edge research

The OCR animal tumor Biobank is not limited to the tumor tissue collection and preservation. Its objectives are also to collect numerous data (clinical, biological, lifestyle) in association to the tissue samples and to analyze them statistically. The Biobank role is strategic for the development of new generation of tumor diagnosis and therapeutic technologies. Veterinarians, surgeons, biologists, clinicians, anatomopathologists and researchers are key players, all dedicated to improve the therapeutic treatment of the “animal patient” in order to promote a better care for both animals and humans.

Key data:
  • 4000 tissues stored
  • Preservation modes: cryopreserved (-80°C, nitrogen), formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded, blood, serum
  • Tumor type: Lymphoma, Melanoma, mammary Carcinoma, head & neck, prostate, Osteosarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma, Hemangiosarcoma, Hepato-carcinoma, Glioblastoma…
Cases studies:
  • Validation of therapeutic target expression within dog & cat tumors
  • Tumor molecular profiles
  • Companion diagnostic follow-up

Focus on Oncovet

Since it foundation in 2000, the veterinarian cancer center Oncovet has developed a first rate technical facility (scanner, scintigraphy, iodo-therapy, radiotherapy: particle acceleration, brachytherapy HDR…) and regrouped a multidisciplinary team of veterinary doctors, specialists in imaging, surgery, oncology, radiotherapy…)

Example of innovative research projects supported by ONCOLille’s animal models platform


Toward knowledge dissemination

The « animal model » platform has organized several meetings toward researchers, medical doctors, veterinarians and pet owners:

  • Comparative medicine (one-health) meeting on oncology to confront veterinary and medical doctors’ cancer treatments approaches and to exchange for future collaborations.
  • A Canicross event in June 2014 organized by OCR. On top of the donation entirely transferred to the IRCL, the objective was to raise awareness among the pet owners on the One-Health concept (human-animal) and toward the inclusion of dogs suffering from cancer to clinical trials and to cancer research.
  • Several meetings toward ONCOLille’s researchers to display innovative animal models such as the Zebra fish or the dog glioma.
Tierny 360-480 copyright

Coordinator: Dominique Tierny –Veterinary doctor at the ONCOVET clinic and CEO of OCR (Oncovet Clinical Research,) – Founder and director