Why Elephas?

It’s time for a change

The models currently used to evaluate immunotherapies in the discovery phase were developed to assess chemotherapies and targeted therapies, but they have been poorly adapted to properly evaluate the unique properties of immunotherapies.

Elephas has developed a platform that doesn't mimic the tumor microenvironment, it protects it. 

The tumor microenvironment: Complexity that can’t be re-created


The tumor microenvironment includes various cell types in a distinct extracellular matrix. The interaction among tumor, noncancerous, and immune cells can create an immunosuppressive environment that promotes tumor progression.

This complex dynamic impacts tumor formation, drug resistance, and immunotherapy response. These characteristics are essential for understanding immunotherapy activity and how it will translate to the clinic. Without them, translation becomes a challenge.

To keep things moving forward, you must keep the native tumor microenvironment intact

Immunotherapy is advancing at a breakneck pace. Each new innovation in immunotherapy holds the promise of saving countless lives. But the path from bench to clinic is complex and full of uncertainty.

Conventional preclinical models can slow progress. Current preclinical models can help establish safety, but fall short when it comes to efficacy, leading to high clinical failure rates and critical lost time. To achieve accurate immunotherapy assessment, agents must be investigated against the tumor microenvironment as close to the original state as possible.

The Elephas ex vivo platform is unique in its ability to protect the live, native tumor microenvironment through our exclusive use of live tumor fragments, which are created from fresh human tumor resections. The result? A level of translation that conventional models simply can’t match.


Immunotherapy candidates make it to market1


Before the average immunotherapy makes it to market2

Learn about the differences of 3D Ex Vivo Models3,4,5

  Elephas Live Tumor Fragments
3D tissues taken directly from a patient clinical sample. Live tumor fragments are precision cut and sorted using proprietary technology to account for tumor heterogeneity. They maintain the primary tumor’s architecture and native tumor microenvironment, including immune cells. Live tumor fragments are more representative of the primary tumor than spheroids and organoids, making them ideal for the assessment of treatment responses that require a native tumor microenvironment, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Spherical mass of cancer cells formed by spontaneous aggregation when standard cancer cell lines are cultured via three dimensional techniques such as hanging drop, liquid overlay, or spinner culture methodologies. Spheroids more closely emulate properties of a solid tumor than do cancer cells cultured in two-dimensions.
Tumor Organoids
3D tissues that originate from human stem cells, organ-specific progenitor cells, or disassociated tumor tissues and are cultured in an extracellular matrix-based medium. Tumor organoids mimic the primary tissues in both architecture and function and retain the histopathological features, genetic profile, mutational landscape.
Complexity of process to develop High Low Medium
Long term propagation of culture No Yes Yes
Method of tumor fragmentation/dissociation Mechanical Enzymatic Enzymatic
Model generation time Short Medium Long
Preservation of native tumor microenvironment Yes No No
Preservation of tumor architecture Yes No No
Cell types present* Tumor, stromal, and immune cells Tumor cells Tumor and stem cells
Amenable to high-throughput screens No Yes Yes
Amenable to profiling immunotherapy* Yes No No

*without addition of exogeneous immune cells


Biopharma services

Learn how we’re partnering with biopharma researchers to advance their most promising immunotherapies in development.


Get in Touch

Learn how our platform can help eliminate uncertainty from your preclinical research efforts.

References: 1. Zhu AZ. Quantitative translational modeling to facilitate preclinical to clinical efficacy & toxicity translation in oncology. Future Sci OA. 2018;4(5):FSO306. doi:10.4155/fsoa-2017-0152. 2. Prasad V, Mailankody S. Research and development spending to bring a single cancer drug to market and revenues after approval. 3. El Harane, S et al. Cancer Spheroids and Organoids as Novel Tools for Research and Therapy: State of the Art and Challenges to Guide Precision Medicine. Cells 2023, 12,1001. 4. Gunti, S. et al . Organoid and Spheroid Tumor Models: Techniques and Applications. Cancers 2021, 13, 874. 5. Londoño-Berrio, et al. Advances in Tumor Organoids for the Evaluation of Drugs Pharmaceutics 2022, 14, 2709.