In vivo models

At Minerva Imaging we focus on the use of advanced in vivo pharmacology models and molecular imaging for translational research and drug development. We are specialized in oncology and cardiovascular diseases and provide services in a wide range of preclinical drug discovery programs. Over the years we established a long list of advanced and clinically translational disease models in a variety of small and large animal species. Our in vivo pharmacology scientists are highly experienced in performing efficacy studies, safety studies, PK programs, and biodistribution studies. More detailed information about our in vivo pharmacology models and applied methodologies is listed below.

Are you planning to take the next step in your drug development project? Contact us for further details on how we can accelerate your program.

Large animals

In our large animal facility we house Göttingen Minipigs, Domestic pigs, Beagle dogs, Rabbits and Guinea pigs. As an example, the Göttingen Minipig is an exceptionally well characterized model. Their small size makes them an ideal option in pharmacological studies where only limited quantities of test substance are available. At latest we have added the Ossabaw pig to our model catalogue, which is especially advantageous for studies within metabolic syndrome.

In large animal models we have experience with:

  • Longer PK studies
  • Advanced pharmacological and surgical disease modeling
  • Efficacy studies within cardiovascular and kidney disease
  • Biodistribution using molecular imaging
  • Radiation dosimetry including extrapolation to human dosimetry
  • Dermatology studies
  • Microbiome studies

Small animals

In our small animal facility we house mice and rats. We have broad experience performing studies within a wide variety of commercially available rodent models. Throughout the years we established and benchmarked several in-house disease models. The models are always readily available for efficacy studies. We can perform studies with cell line based models as well as PDX models available through the XenoSTART-MINERVA collaboration.

In small animal models we have experience with:

  • Efficacy studies in oncology including targeted radionuclide therapy and external radiation therapy. Available in syngeneic or xenograft cancer models, established as subcutaneous, orthotopic or metastatic models.
  • Efficacy studies in heart failure models
  • Biodistribution studies using molecular imaging (MRI, SPECT/PET CT, Ultrasound, Bioluminescence)
  • Radiation dosimetry including extrapolation to human dosimetry
  • PK studies
  • Safety pharmacology testing
  • Infection models
  • Microbiome studies
  • Inhalation studies

Ethical statement

All studies at Minerva Imaging are licensed by the Danish Animal Experimentation Inspectorate and conducted in accordance with the Danish Animal Experimentation Act (BEK nr 12 of 7/01/2016). The Danish act is stricter and fully compliant with the European directive (2010/63/EU) and internationally accepted principles for the care and use of laboratory animals. Furthermore, all work in the animal facilities follows standards and classifications set by relevant authorities including the Danish Working Environment Authority, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, and the Danish Health Authority, Radiation Protection.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at Minerva Imaging evaluates general welfare issues and do welfare evaluations related to specific models used under the individual scientific projects. The IACUC is also part of the licensing review and post approval monitoring.

Minerva Imaging applies the 3R principles (replacement, reduction, and refinement) to all animal use. We believe that laboratory animal welfare is an ethical responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being. This includes proper housing, social interactions and an enriched environment to reduce stress and support natural behavior. Furthermore, we focus on having the highest standard of behavioral management, nutrition, disease management and treatment. Our state-of-the-art animal facilities are staffed by trained animal technicians and veterinarians providing professional care, handling, and close health monitoring of all research animals.


Philip G. Juul Pedersen, PhD

Department Manager Pharmacology