Imagen Therapeutics’ approach is concerned only with examining the overall “functioning” of the cell under certain scenarios – in this case what they do when exposed to different drugs. This is termed a functional or phenotypic approach.

We take a sample of the patient’s cancer and expose the cells to a variety (up to 56) of different drugs for 72 hours. We then measure the cytotoxic effects using a particularly advanced cell death assay that can be conducted in 2D and 3D cell culture.

The spheroids or cells are stained with two dyes: one which stains all of the cell nuclei, and one which only stains cell that have lost cell membrane integrity. This loss of cell membrane integrity is indicative of secondary necrosis - cell death.

The images generated are then analysed using High Content Analysis and the amount of cell death is calculated for each drug at different doses. 


Collect – a liquid or solid biopsy is taken and is sent to Imagen Therapeutics’ laboratory for testing


Test – upon arrival the sample is processed, chemotherapy drugs are administered and cell death is monitored

Report – results are analysed and a chemosensitivity ranking report is produced with information on those agents likely to be effective