Commercialization of model for drug-resistant cancer cells

Staff members of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, PAS, Military Institute of Medicine (WIM) in Warsaw and Poznań University of Life Sciences (UPP), designed and commercialized a novel cellular model for in vitro studies of drug resistance in ovarian cancer.

The ovarian cancer is the most dangerous type of gynecologic cancer. Standard treatment includes chemotherapy that combines pharmaceuticals stemming from the group of platinum derivatives (including cisplatin) with those from the taxane group (including paclitaxel). Despite the initial response to treatment, 75% of ill women die of the disease recurrence.

The designed model is a series of six cell lines derived from the host cell line of the human ovarian cancer, A2780, characterized by a gradually growing resistance to paclitaxel, with simultaneously falling resistance to cisplatin. The reverse resistance profile is very attractive from the scientific point of view, as it most often occurs in clinical practice.

Working on the aforementioned model involved a modern research approach, based on comparative analysis of gene expression with the use of next generation sequencing technology (RNA-seq). This allowed for tracking which genes turn on or turn off their activity during subsequent stages of drug resistance formation. The studies were performed by an interdisciplinary team, comprised of specialists in cell culture and molecular oncology (Dr. Jolanta Szenajch, WIM), genomics (Dr. Luiza Handschuh, Dr. Michał Góralski, IBCH PAS) and bioinformatics (Dr. Eng. Aleksandra Świercz, IBCH PAS and Dr. Alicja Szabelska-Beręsewicz, Dr. Joanna Zyprych-Walczak and Prof. Idzi Siatkowski, UPP). The research, carried out under the NSC NN401532740 project, was led by Dr. Jolanta Szenajch (WIM).

In 2019, the model was patented, and in 2021, a license agreement was concluded between WIM (representing the consortium formed by three institutions) and Ximbio – the business branch of a British research company Cancer Research UK, which is at the same time the biggest non-profit organization dealing with technology transfer in life sciences. Consequently, the six cell lines designed by researchers are currently available under the Ximbio’s catalogue of offers, with an option of payable sharing, either on the basis of research licenses or commercial licenses, with the interested institutions from all over the world. (


Patent: Szenajch J.; Handschuh L., Świercz A., Szabelska-Beręsewicz A.; Joanna Zyprych-Walczak J.; Siatkowski I.; Góralski M. „ Human ovarian cancer cell culture model for paclitaxel-induced inverse resistance to paclitaxel and cisplatin and use thereof”. Patent no. PL 233178

Publication: Szenajch J., Szabelska-Beręsewicz A., Świercz A., Joanna Zyprych-Walczak J., Siatkowski I., Góralski M., Synowiec A., Handschuh L. „Transcriptome Remodeling in Gradual Development of Inverse Resistance between Paclitaxel and Cisplatin in Ovarian Cancer Cells”, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 9218. doi: 10.3390/ijms21239218

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