Duke Preclinical Translational Research Unit

The Duke Preclinical Translational Research Unit (PTRU) provides:

  • Preclinical and translational research services, including cancer and non-cancer related applications that enable investigators (both inside and outside Duke) to conduct critical in vivo experiments.
  • Highly skilled input and oversight from Duke experts in cancer biology, pharmacokinetics, in-vivo experimentation, medical devices, physiology, imaging, statistics, and regulatory support.
  • High-quality data documentation that delivers clinical relevance, data integrity, efficient resource usage, and commercial viability.
  • Our staff is made up of experts, backed by the reputation, reliability, and credibility of the Duke School of Medicine and the Duke Cancer Institute. Contact us to learn how the Duke Preclinical Translational Research Unit can help you.

Drug Development


Successful drug development is at the forefront of the Duke PTRU’s mission. We expertly assist every aspect of preclinical drug development from the earliest compound design and through successful IND preparation, filling, and translation to clinical trial.

Our priority is to ensure that your drug R&D goals are met in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The PTRU’s services in drug development covers:

  • Drug target identification and validation
  • Delivery of hit compounds that are validated and possess the highest quality, including screening for throughput and content, to evaluate early stage programs and identify potential issues/
  • Optimizing and ranking hits to leads per cycle efficiently and effectively
  • Identifying optimal compounds for further development
  • Integrating experts as needed to meet your project’s needs and goals
  • IND preparation and filling

How we work

We support small molecular antibodies, immunology drugs, biologics, and more. Researchers or companies come to us with a compound or technology for formulating drug. We help them understand the clinical application of their idea. We work with them to find the suitable animal model or innovate a new model if needed to address the clinical disease. Working with the regulatory team, we can recommend or design a plan that will adhere to FDA requirements—while at the same time working on the research goal.

To learn how we can help your drug development process, contact us.