San Diego-based biotech 3D printing company Organovo has just announced today that it will be collaborating with two National Institutes of Health (NIH) groups in order to print tissue that will be used for medical purposes.
According to 3Ders.com, Organovo plans to collaborate with two Institutes of Health in using the NovoGen Bioprinting platform to create three-dimensional, architecturally correct, functional, and living tissue. The purpose of this partnership is to help scientists to develop reliable tools to bring safer and more effective treatments to patients on a faster timeline.
When it comes to testing new pharmaceutical drugs, there is a long drawn out process that companies must go through before the drugs can be approved for human clinical trials. However, the cost, effectiveness, and safety involved in testing these drugs are not as effective as they could be.
3D printing, however, offers a new solution that could change the way that drug testing is done. With the ability to print living tissue, there will no longer be a need for animal testing. Instead, the test drugs would be directly tested on human tissue – 3D printed tissue, that is.
“Researchers who develop new therapies for patients are too often hampered by animal models and traditional cell culture models that are poor predictors of drug efficacy and toxicity in human beings,” Organovo CEO Keith Murphy explained. “Our 3D printer creates living human tissues that more closely reproduce in vivo human tissues.”
Organovo’s plans to collaborate with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Eye Institute (NEI) will allow Organovo to develop printable eye tissue. “This technology could provide us with a renewable and easy-to-manipulate source of functional eye tissue,” said NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. “Printable eye tissue could be used to identify disease pathways and to screen for and discover new therapeutic drugs.”
With this partnership comes the hope is to lower the cost of drug testing, and to provide a safer and more effective way to test future pharmaceutical drugs. 3D printed tissue will also be used to study disease advancement.