In the exciting field of 3D bioprinting, the prospects for testing new medicines using 3D printed organ tissue are some of the most promising and most fully realized. By 3D printing tissues, pharmaceutical researchers can measure the toxicity levels of drug compounds on 3D printed liver cells, kidney cells, etc., giving them an idea of how the compound will react in a real human body. This potentially reduces the need to test on animal subjects and can bring the drugs to market more quickly.
On this front, 3D bioprinting firm Organovo is leading the pack. The company has already created a 3D printed liver assay for testing pharmaceuticals and is in the process of having their research verified from outside companies before determining whether or not their product is ready for market. Today, the company announced a significant new partnership that will push their R&D even further. Organovo has just entered into an agreement with the pharmaceutical research arm of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research and Development (JRD).
Together, Organovo and JRD will evaluate the use of 3D printed tissue for drug discovery. According to the SEC filing, this work will be wholly different from Organovo’s work with testing liver toxicity with 3D printed liver assays. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but the partnership could reveal some exciting developments in coming months.