InSphero’s micro livers to help Pfizer to predict drug-induced liver injury

InSphero has entered into an agreement with Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies, to develop a novel predictive toxicology assay using InSphero 3D InSight Human Liver Microtissues.

This novel mechanistic in vitro assay will aim to leverage the enhanced sensitivity and longevity of InSphero 3D liver models that may allow for the multiplexing of several endpoints to help detect and predict mechanisms of drug toxicity.

InSphero CEO and co-founder, Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, says, “Our 3D liver models enable researchers to better predict potential toxicity and side-effects using more biologically relevant cell based assays. These models may also help reduce dependency on animal models, which add significant cost, delay time to market, and often fail to accurately reflect how humans will respond to a drug. We already have a long-standing relationship with Pfizer and this new agreement will enable the development of assays with potentially even greater utility and predictive power for Pfizer’s early drug development."

The researchers will use InSphero 3D InSight Human Liver Microtissues to develop novel assays to predict and evaluate certain mechanisms that cause drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Dr. Simon Messner, who will lead the project for InSphero adds, “The longevity and organotypic nature of 3D InSight Human Liver Microtissues highly correlates to that of native liver, exhibiting appropriate cellular organization, cytochrome P450 enzyme responsiveness, and metabolic functionality. Using this 3D model could result in improved accuracy and precision by which certain DILI mechanisms are predicted in vitro.”

The agreement commences in April 2017 and involves InSphero scientists in the USA (Brunswick, ME) and Schlieren (Switzerland) facilities, with input from Pfizer scientists.