ExoLiver Liver on a Chip platform for toxicology and drug development

  • Edition: 2016
  • Research center: Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer
  • Scientific Area: Human biology
  • Business area: Medical Devices
  • Status: In development
  • Contact: jordi.gracia@idibaps.org

ExoLiver Therapeutics will provide laboratory services and consulting in toxicology, drug development and liver diseases. The main feature of ExoLiver Therapeutics is the “Liver on a Chip” platform, which offers preclinical data with higher quality and reliability than current available devices. The Liver on a Chip Platform allows long-term culture of human hepatocytes, mimicking the liver environment, thus allowing proper drug screening and toxicology testing. 

Goals

  • ExoLiver Therapeutics will work with pharma companies, other CROs, and research labs to accelerate and improve the development of new pharmaceutical compounds. The unique services offered will significantly reduce the global cost of brining new chemical compounds to the market, together with providing more reliable biochemical data.

See project infographic:

Infographic

Problem to Solve

Drug development main hurdle is to correctly identify candidates that show low liver toxicity in late clinical phase trials. Drug Induced Liver injury (DILI) has led to halt the development of several drugs in advanced stages, as well as withdrawal from the market of drugs that had already been granted approval.

It is estimated that liver toxicity accounts for the removal of 25-40% of drugs in clincal phase III, and 20-30% of withdrawals once the drug has already hit the market. Therefore, there is a clear need to incorporate experimental methods that allow a more reliable prediction of hepatotoxicity in the pre-clinical development of a drug beyond standard 2D hepatocyte cultures. Moreover, development of new compounds for liver diseases require expert knowledge and advisor, which will also be offered by ExoLiver.

Innovation

The analysis of new drugs and biomolecules by the Liver on a Chip device offers a new quality level, as it predicts toxicity of drugs before being administered to humans, as well as a complete biochemical and cellular characterization of any given compound in human liver cells.

Level of Innovation

The Liver on a Chip device is a new technology that yields unprecedented results, as it mimics the architecture of the human liver, in terms of circulation, cell types and available area to carry out cell biology studies. Thus, it represents a novel exciting technology to test compounds for their safety profiles. It also allows functional studies to understand the efficacy and mechanisms of action of new drugs.

Team

Ph.D. Project Leader. Ramon y Cajal researcher

Jordi Gracia-Sancho

Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer

Ph.D. Co-leader. Scientist

Rosa Villa

CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

BSc. Junior researcher

Martí Ortega

Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer

Partners

Obra Social
Caixa Capital Risc