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Human Tissue and Human Tissue-Based Research Services

More info about Asterand

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 goal

We aim to provide data to support the validation of human targets and biomarkers to facilitate selection of those with the greatest likelihood of clinical success.

Our human tissue-based approach allows rapid and early evaluation of targets and biomarkers in biologically relevant tissues to:

  • Accelerate development
  • Reduce the risk of late stage failures
  • Improve productivity

Our scope

For over ten years our scientists have been consulted by and have collaborated with top, global pharmaceutical companies. We help our customers evaluate human targets and biomarkers, providing expertise and a tailored scientific approach to deliver high quality human tissue-based data.

Our services

We provide a wide range of standard and custom assays in the following areas:

Gene expression
The search for novel therapies to treat human disease often begins with the identification of viable drug targets via understanding gene expression differences between diseased and non-diseased tissues.

To support this understanding, Asterand offers four qRT-PCR-based services to validate human targets at the gene expression level:

XpressWay® Profiles
Quantitative gene expression profiles to identify which non-diseased human tissues express a given target. Data are used to confirm therapeutic approach, exploit opportunities to switch indication and identify the potential for side effects.

A comprehensive database of expression of gene transcripts in non-diseased human tissues, together with proprietary software that will provides an interface to the information found in gene expression profiles, assisting in confirming, altering or negating pathway opportunities for your targets of choice.

A powerful follow-on capability to initial gene expression observations, focusing on targets of interest, to understand differential expression in any diseased and non-diseased tissue.

Molecular pathology
To further understand the potential function of a human target and its possible role in disease, it is important to localise that target at the cellular level. To achieve this, Asterand provides five core services:

In situ hybridisation (ISH)
Cellular localisation of target genes in human diseased and non-diseased tissues using high quality frozen human tissue sections or tissue microarrays.

Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Cellular localisation of target proteins in human diseased and non-diseased tissues using high quality FFPE or frozen human tissue sections or microarrays.

Tissue cross-reactivity
An IHC assay which assesses the cross-reactivity of therapeutic antibody candidates under non-GLP conditions in a frozen tissue microarray for customers screening antibody candidates prior to the comprehensive GLP study.

Antibody validation
Combination of gene expression intelligence and IHC immunostaining to produce the highest quality digital photomicrographs of the research antibody’s immunoreactivity along with data regarding the optimum conditions for end user application of the antibody.

Localization of ligand binding sites in frozen human tissue sections. These studies allow you to:

  • Validate gene expression data
  • Identify differences in target expression and localization in human disease
  • Explore target expression in different human tissues to identify the potential for side effects

Working with Asterand

Scientific solutions

  • Comprehensive range of research services available
  • Existing, validated human tissue based assays
  • Ability to custom design studies and develop new assays as required
  • Scientific continuity provided throughout research programs
  • Effective extension of our customer’s research teams


  • Extensive experience in human tissue research and drug discovery
  • High quality human tissues and comprehensive clinical data
  • All human tissues are sourced with ethical approval and consent for research
  • Access to the right human tissues to perform the right experiments
  • Proven track record in experimental design and human tissue data interpretation
  • Collaborative approach and professional project management


  • Ready access to fresh and frozen human tissues from our network
  • 24/7 operation for fresh human tissue experiments
  • Reliable data delivery to strict timelines

Outsourcing solutions

  • Ease of managing a single outsourced relationship for all human tissue needs
  • Fee for service – all resulting data and IP belong to our customers
  • Allow customers to focus on their core business


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