Field Application Scientist CN Bio, United Kingdom
Next-generation therapeutics have become a popular way to improve drug delivery, target what was previously considered “undruggable”, and bring novel medicines to patients swiftly. A recent McKinsey report cites that new drug modalities represent around 21% of pipelines - the fastest growth ever seen in the sector. In this modern era of drug discovery, has your preclinical assay toolbox kept pace with the differing needs of new modalities versus small molecules? For small molecules, traditional in vitro assays are complemented by in vivo animal models. But, for drugs with human-specific modes of action, there are few non-clinical in vivo models available. As such, safety and efficacy testing this new wave of therapeutics represent a significant workflow challenge. Organ-on-a-chip (OOC), otherwise known as microphysiological systems (MPS), offer a path forward, delivering clinically translatable data that be used to predict the efficacy, drug disposition and safety of drugs - irrespective of modality. With primary human cells at their core, these complex multicellular in vitro models recapitulate the physiology and function of human organs, including key immune aspects. They can be linked to simulate processes such as drug absorption and metabolism or to understand interactions between organs, such as inflammation, which drive disease and cause unexpected toxicities.