A Potential ‘Game ‘Changing’ New Model for Preclinical Drug Development Process

Drug Development

A new study reveals that a reconfigurable multi-organ in vitro model could transform drug development by simultaneously measuring compound efficiency and toxicity. The new approach could help transform research and personalized medicine with more accurate and efficient preclinical testing without the use of animal models.

The study was led by an interesting combination of biotech firm Hesperos, Roche and the University of Central Florida (UCF) reports Drug Target Review.  The team created a multi-organ in vitro model which was able to replicate in vivo responses to anticancer therapies for both the parent drug and their metabolites to assess therapeutic index for single and drug-drug combinations reports Drug Target Review.

The team developed an in vitro system with the capacity to house multiple human-derived organ-like tissue constructs grown on an array of biological microelectromechanical systems (bio MEMS) modules. They were developed in a single recirculating serum-free medium that offers non-invasive measurements of responses in the human surrogate.

Drug Target Review offers the read a couple study examples including a leukemia and a cancer model.

James Hickman, professor at UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center noted “This is a game changer in the preclinical development process, which normally requires an animal model to measure therapeutic index, and in the case of many rare diseases, requires testing in humans as there are no animal models available.” Professor Hickman continued “ In addition, our system will allow testing of different therapies on small samples of a specific cancer patient’s tissue to help inform doctors about which treatment works best for each individual.”

This interesting collaborative is perhaps on to something very important. The need for this level of flexibility and precision with unparalleled level of reconfigurability possibly represents a considerable breakthrough.

Lead Research/Investigator

James Hickman, University of Central Florida