Organovo Holdings, Inc., one of the leading 3D printing companies in the world announced that it has achieved key breakthrough capabilities for its 3D bioprinted liver tissues and intestinal tissues.
The company showed its ability to create functional human liver tissue by producing a spectrum of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) conditions, and then treat the condition successfully with a preclinical development stage NASH drug currently developed by Cirius Therapeutics – a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat liver disease.
These latest achievements highlight performance of Organovo’s human liver model in the generation of a robust NAFLD and allowing drug researchers to explore the evolution of NASH as well as test related treatment strategies in a more relevant, rapid and cost-effective manner than traditional cell culture, animal models and human clinical trials. NAFLD is a chronic liver disease that often progresses into NASH. It is characterized by lipid accumulation, inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis.
Organovo has been developing multi-cellular, dynamic, and functional 3D human tissue models. 3D bioprinted using the company’s proprietary 3D bioprinting process and trademarked as ExVive® 3D bioprinted tissue models, the company has been offering these models for use in drug discovery, clinical development, and therapeutic applications.
Speaking about the benefits of its latest achievements for drug researchers and drug development, Taylor J. Crouch, CEO, Organovo said, “No other in vitro modeling system allows drug researchers to explore the evolution of NASH and related treatment strategies using histology, the only accepted measurement for efficacy, based on visual confirmation of the cellular disease process under a microscope.”
“Organovo’s ExVive® tissue modeling capabilities represent a major advancement for drug development. We are particularly excited that we can work with clients to explore their clinical stage drug candidates, allowing them to address the patient specific needs of their drugs,” Crouch added.
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Following the latest achievements, Organovo is now mapping out a range of relevant conditions for creating NASH, including all components of the disease (fat accumulation, inflammation and fibrosis). In addition to assessing donor-specific susceptibility to NAFLD/NASH conditions, the Company is also systematically testing major reference classes of compounds targeting NASH to inform treatment strategies.
Apart from achieving key developments in its 3D bioprinting liver tissue models, the company also made significant process in developing 3D intestinal tissue models. For example, Organovo along with Merck & Co. (“Merck”) jointly published a peer-reviewed study which revealed that human 3D intestinal tissue models bioprinted using Organovo’s 3D NovoGen Bioprinter system demonstrated compelling architecture, barrier and metabolic functions and even generated an injury response to compound-induced toxicity and inflammation – a development known to enhance drug safety and efficacy prediction when developing drugs.
Offering details about the company’s achievements in intestinal models, Dr. Sharon Presnell, chief scientific officer at Organovo said, “The gut model is an exciting addition to our portfolio of high-value drug modeling platforms”.
“Its performance and features outshine current in vitro systems, and also has the potential to facilitate systems biology approaches for the study of diseases such as NAFLD and NASH, where disease initiation and progression involve significant interplay between the intestine and liver,” concluded Presnell.
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