By Brian Krassenstein | 3DPrint
New technologies such as 3D bioprinting promise to offer a laundry list of new treatments, drug discovery, and cures within the medical industry. With that said, we have been hearing promises for years that 3D printing will change the face of medicine. Despite these promises, bioprinting has yet to make any major impact within the market. Today things may have just changed!
San Diego-based 3D bioprinting company Organovo (NYSE MKT: ONVO) has today announced the full commercial availability of their exVive3D Human Liver Tissue for preclinical drug discovery testing. The tissue, which is created via an in-house 3D printer, could change the way in which pharmaceutical companies develop, discover, and test new drugs prior bringing them to market.
The exVive3D tissue will aid Organovo’s clients in predicting the toxicity drugs have to the human liver, likely speeding up discovery, and providing more accurate results. The business model for Organovo is to act as a service provider for their clients, enabling them to access this technology via their contract research program. All the testing will actually take place within Organovo’s lab, and be conducted by their laboratory services tissue experts. This enables the company to maintain full control over the process, the printing, the testing, and the data curating.
The exVive3D tissue consists of human stellate, endothelial, and hepatocytes cell types, and are proven to be functional for at least 42 days, enabling long term drug interaction studies which far exceed those made possible with 2D liver cell samples. Because of this, drug testing can be performed on the tissue over several dosages allowing for clients to discover possible longer terms issues which may not have been realized using other testing methods.
In a recent presentation by Dr. Deb Nguyen, the Director of R & D at Organovo, she showed just how accurate and useful exVive3D tissue can be for toxicity discovery. She presented information demonstrating the metabolic competence over time that the exVive3D tissue is able to achieve, as well as its predictability when present with known toxic substances. Further details on her presentation may be found here.
This is the moment that many of those within Organovo have been waiting for, as the company has just transitioned into a commercial entity capable of producing revenue via the sale of their bioprinted tissue, thus allowing for the funding for further R&D. The company hopes to have partial human livers available for transplant within the next five years if all goes as planned and is working with various other tissue types, such as that of breast cancer, kidney, and the pancreas. This should be the first of a series of 3D printed tissues they will gradually be bringing to market.
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