Product News: Cyprotex to Offer New Long-Term Toxicity Testing Service Using InSphero 3D InSight Liver Microtissues

20 Sep 2012

InSphero AG, experts in three dimensional microtissue research, and Cyprotex PLC, the specialist preclinical contract research organization (CRO), announce a joint service offering which combines the expertise of both companies to provide customers with advanced cellular models of drug-induced toxicity in the liver.

The new liver toxicology screening service will use InSphero's 3D InSight™ liver model and will be performed at Cyprotex's laboratories, where customers will have the benefit of Cyprotex's extensive expertise in ADME and toxicology. InSphero's liver model has the advantage that the cells are viable for a longer time period and so multiple dose studies can be performed over an extended time course.

Hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) is one of the most common reasons for drug withdrawal through drug-induced toxicity. Conventional preclinical toxicology studies fail to predict human hepatotoxicity in approximately 50% of cases. This has led to an urgent need for human cell-based in vitro models which are representative of the native organ.

The current industry approach is to use cells in a single layer culture (known as a 2D monolayer). InSphero has invented a unique high-throughput approach to generating 3D microtissues from single cells. InSphero's microtissues have the advantage of being completely scaffold-free and do not rely on a bioartificial matrix for tissue formation. This leads to highly functional microtissues, which show stable enzyme activity over extended periods of time. Compared to 2D cultures, 3D microtissues more closely mimic native tissues and organs and form natural cell-to-cell attachments. Both single cell type and multiple cell type models can be produced.

Dr Jan Lichtenberg, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of InSphero, commented: "We are very proud that Cyprotex has recognized the value of InSphero's highly functional 3D liver microtissues and will now be helping industry to exploit the advantages of the model. Our joint offering combines leading 3D cell-culture expertise with the proven ADME-Tox experience of a world-leading specialist. This assures high-quality data and reliable processes for our fee-for-service customers and makes advanced, predictive toxicology testing easily available to drug developers worldwide."

Commenting on the joint offering, Dr. Anthony Baxter, the Chief Executive Officer of Cyprotex, said: "A key objective of our research is to improve the extrapolation of in vitro data to the clinical situation. The value of InSphero's 3D microtissues is that they are more predictive of the in vivo processes when compared with existing 2D models. With InSphero providing robust and reliable 3D liver models we have found an excellent partner to fulfill our key objective."