A large-scale commercial application of 3D bioprinting seems now to be within reach for Organovo, the only public bioprinting company in the world, based in San Diego (CA).
One of the main areas of research and development for Organovo has been the 3D reproduction — with its own bioprinters and using hydrogels as bioink — of liver tissue. The company began testing medication on 3D printed liver cells last November and is now about ready to enter into commercial contracts with some of the most important global pharmaceutical companies.
This basically means it will be selling its 3D printed liver tissue to companies that need to test their new drugs on it. The process will start with a few selected clients, prior to full release.
“Organovo has received interest in advance of our planned launch from 15 top pharma company customers, small to midsize pharma companies, biotechnology companies and private venture capital backed pharmaceutical development firms,” Organovo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Keith Murphy, commented.
“The compelling data already generated on the performance of the 3D Human Liver Tissue has driven this interest, we believe, and I’m pleased that our team was able in a short time to accomplish all of the hard work that allowed us to begin signing contracts. We’ll be able to deliver results for proprietary compounds and other needs, while completing the work for fuller product and service launch on our original timeline.”
Organovo is certain – and it would be difficult to disagree – that its 3D Human Liver tissue model represents a new approach to the drug toxicity discovery and development process, one that will provide significant added value to preclinical assessment studies.
Although it may seem incredible (though that word, in the 3D printing industry, has somewhat lost its original meaning), the long lasting viability and function of the tissue allows for extended study durations in vitro, enabling the assessment of the effects of low doses and reposted dosing regimens, across a spectrum of biochemical, molecular and histologic end points.
It may not be a full (or transplantable) artificial 3D printed liver yet, but Organovo’s technology is offering the potential to keep real livers working for longer. To find out more, or if you just want to get yourself some liver tissue de-livered, write directly to [email protected].