Respiratory diseases

Respiratory diseases include chronic respiratory diseases (COPD, asthma, pulmonary hypertension) and respiratory infections due to communicable infectious diseases (upper respiratory tract infections and lower respiratory tract infections). These pathologies affect the airways, bronchial tubes and lungs. According to the WHO, respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide. Lung infections (mostly pneumonia and tuberculosis), lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) together accounted for more than 9 million deaths worldwide in 2008.

The Non-Human Primate model is a model of choice for the assessment of the efficacy or safety of drugs developed in respiratory diseases. As NHP share similarity with humans in physiology, anatomy (vertical posture, nasal cavity similar to that of human children), and immune system, it is a well-suited in vivo model for exploratory, respiratory toxicity and efficacy studies.

Cynbiose and Cynbiose Respiratory have built an extensive expertise in this particular therapeutic area from early exploratory studies (both in vitro and in vivo), to predictive Proof-of-Concept models. Moreover, we have unparalleled capabilities for the in vitro and in vivo assessment of aerosol therapies.


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Efficacy studies
  • SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 model
  • Lung inflammation
  • Respiratory viral infections: hMPV, hRSV, measles, SARS-CoV-2
  • On-demand preclinical models: contact us to discuss your needs
Exploratory studies
  • In vitro assays for aerosol therapies
  • Pharmacokinetics including pulmonary PK
  • Nasal and pulmonary biodistribution
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Early toxicology studies

SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 model

Cynbiose can assess the efficacy of your drug candidate in a translational non-human primate (NHP) model. This model is relevant to test innovative or repurposed drug candidates as well as aerosoltherapies.


  • Cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
  • African green monkey (genus Chlorocebus)


  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) / COVID-19 strains (Primary strain, various European D614G variants, UK variant,  South-African variant)
  • Infection method : intratracheal, intranasal pulverization

Type of test item

  • Vaccines, antibodies, immunotherapies, antiviral candidates, small molecules and combination of treatments
  • Aerosoltherapies






Clinical assessment

  • Body temperature monitoring (implanted logger)
  • Clinical pathology : biochemistry and complete blood count with differential in a BSL 2/3 setting thanks to state-of-the-art biological analyzers
  • Lung function measurement
  • Specific biomarkers

Infection monitoring

  • Sampling : Bronchoalveolar lavage, Nasal & nasopharyngeal swabs, blood sampling, feces
  • Virological analysis : local viremia, viral titer
  • Histopathology
  • Transcriptomics, Metagenomics
  • Immunomonitoring

Scientific publications

  • African Green Monkey model of SARS-CoV-2 infection shows mild lung pathology and viral replication in the airways.
    Confais J, Toussenot M, Julien T, Ployart S, Pizzorno A, Rosa-Calatrava M, Contamin H.
    Immunotherapies & Innovations for Infectious Diseases congress, 9-10th December, 2020.

Scientific partners

  • VirPath laboratory (Claude Bernard Lyon University, INSERM, CNRS, ENS Lyon) specializing in virology and human respiratory pathologies

Lung inflammation

A non-human primate inflammation model using LPS.


For more information, please contact Cynbiose Respiratory.

Respiratory viral infections: hMPV, hRSV, measles, SARS-CoV-2


  • Cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
  • Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta)
  • African green monkey (genus Chlorocebus)




Infection method : Intratracheal microspray, intranasal


  • Implanted body temperature measurement
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Nasal & nasopharyngeal swabs
  • Clinical pathology : biochemistry and complete blood count with differential) in a BSL1/2/3 setting thanks to state-of-the-art biological analyzers
  • Immunoassays
  • Transcriptomics
  • Custom readouts

Scientific publications

  • A respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) F protein nanoparticle vaccine focuses antibody responses to a conserved neutralization domain.
    Swanson K. A et al. (cf Material & methods)
    Science Immunology, 2020 May 01; 5 (47).
    Sci Immunol
  • Development of a cynomolgus macaque model of infection with hRSV to evaluate therapeutic approaches.
    Blanc SC et al.
    Infectious Diseases Models for Innovative Therapies (IDMIT) Symposium 2016, 10 June 2016, Paris.
  • Development of a cynomolgus macaque model of infection with hRSV to evaluate therapeutic approaches.
    Blanc SC et al.
    Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies for Respiratoy Diseases (TMARD): current challenges and perspectives, 31 March-1 April 2016, Tours.
  • Respiratory syncytial virus infection in macaques is not suppressed by intranasal sprays of pyrimidine biosynthesis inhibitors.
    Grandin C et al.
    Antiviral Res. 2016 Jan 19;125:58-62.


On-demand preclinical models: contact us to discuss your needs

The selection of the appropriate animal model to evaluate the efficacy of your drug candidates is critical to your preclinical research success.

Cynbiose is committed to providing you with clinically relevant animal models, outstanding surgical and technical capabilities as well as high-quality data.

For more information, visit our specific page dedicated to customized efficacy models.

We’d be pleased to discuss your needs and projects. Feel free to contact our teams.

In vitro assays for aerosol therapies


  • Assessment of aerosol therapies in the airwaysnose-to-brain delivery
  • Assessment of aerosol therapies in the lungs


Please contact Cynbiose Respiratory for more information.

Pharmacokinetics including pulmonary PK

More information on the dedicated web page here.

For pulmonary pharmacokinetics, please contact Cynbiose Respiratory.

Nasal and pulmonary biodistribution

For more information, please refer to Cynbiose Respiratory‘s website.


More information here.

Early toxicology studies

Type of studies

  • Single and repeated doses, dose escalating studies
  • Immunosafety, immunogenicity
  • Pulmonary tox and respiratory function
  • Dose Range Finding (DRF)
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD)

Type of test item

  • Immunotherapies
  • Antibodies, ADC, …
  • Cell therapies, gene therapies, oncolytic virus
  • Oligonucleotides, antisense oligonucleotides
  • Therapeutic vaccines such as DNA vaccines, RNA vaccines
  • Recombinant proteins, recombinant enzymes
  • Peptides
  • Oncolytic viruses (BSL2 biocontainment, GMO C2)
  • Small molecules, ….

non-exhaustive list