News and views
NIH funds development of tissue chips to help predict drug safety
25.07.12 - Seventeen grants have been awarded by the NIH to develop 3-D human tissue chips that accurately model the structure and function of human organs. Once developed, researchers can use these models to predict whether a candidate drug, vaccine or biologic agent is safe or toxic in humans in a faster and more cost-effective way than current animal methods.
Tissue chips merge techniques from the computer industry with modern tissue engineering by combining miniature models of living organ tissues on a transparent microchip. Ranging in size from a quarter to a house key, the chips are lined with living cells and contain features designed to replicate the complex biological functions of specific organs.
The NIH plans to commit up to $70 million over five years for the program.
“Serious adverse effects and toxicity are major obstacles in the drug development process,” said Thomas R. Insel, M.D., NCATS acting director. “With innovative tools and methodologies, such as those developed by the tissue chip program, we may be able to accelerate the process by which we identify compounds likely to be safe in humans, saving time and money, and ultimately increasing the quality and number of therapies available for patients.”
More than 30 percent of promising medications have failed in human clinical trials because they are determined to be toxic despite promising pre-clinical studies in animal models. Tissue chips, which are a newer human cell-based approach, may enable scientists to predict more accurately how effective a therapeutic candidate would be in clinical studies.
More information on the 17 projects can be found in the links below.
There are currently no comments on this post
Post a Comment
Your comment will have to be approved by a site administrator before it is shown on the site so please be patient.