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Translational Pig Models

Bridging the gap between preclinical and clinical studies. Are you ready to de-risk your clinical trials?


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The importance of efficacy studies performed in large animal models of pain.


One of the challenges in the life sciences industry is improving the approval rate of neurology and pain treatments. While our understanding of neurology is growing, there are still several limitations. Compared to other therapeutic areas, there are fewer predictive models, fewer known biomarkers that help quantify disease, and a narrow scope of human data. Consequently, the development of neurological treatments heavily depends on qualitative and subjective measures, which is an inadequate predictor of disease and treatment. MD Biosciences is combatting this challenge by developing translational models and novel quantitative measures that help de-risk clinical trials. 

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What are the advantages of the pig as a preclinical model?

Increasing the clinical translatability of preclinical data requires models that accurately reflect the human condition. The pig shares valuable similarities with humans, including skin and neurological characteristics. Additionally, studies in the pig are more relevant for topical treatments, closely mimic human drug dose volumes, allow evaluation of medical devices, exhibit nerve stimulation and behavioral changes that closely resemble humans, and have similarity in >93% of relevant biomarkers.



The sensory nerve function is similar between pig and human, particularly in important pain biomarkers such as TRPV1. The pig skin is mediated by silent nociceptors as in human and has a similar number of nerve ending fibers, unlike rodents.


Skin Structure

Pig skin exhibits a higher degree of homology to human in both structure and penetration. There is also correlation between contractile, metabolic and morphological features in skeletal muscle of humans and pigs.


Similarity & Practicality

There are many similarities between the pig and human including the cardiovascular, central nervous, immune and digestive systems. The pig is more predictive for topical treatments, enables medical device evaluation, and drug volumes would mimic human doses.

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Translational Models offered by MD Biosciences

As a leading preclinical CRO in Neurological and Pain research, we have developed several translational models in the pig. See our published work here

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Clinically relevant assessments.

Our established models and methods help build a complete story of neurological disease and effective treatments.

Behavior Assessments

Behavioral assessments along with physiological readouts offer a broader understanding of the basic biological mechanism of disease and cognitive impairment. 

Click here to learn more about behavior assessments used in studies. 



Intraepidermal nerve fiber (IENF) analysis in skin biopsy samples allows the study of neuroprotective or neurodegenerative effects of drug therapies.

Click here to learn more about biomarkers and staining methods. 

IENF staining

Ready to discuss your next project? 

If you are ready to discuss how translational studies can fit into your development program, our scientists are eager to explore the possibilities with you. Like many other pharmaceutical and medical device developers, you can rely on predictive preclinical data.  


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