Bridging the gap: using organ-on-a-chip as an experimental tool to develop (cost) effective therapeutics

The webinar will explore primary concerns in drug discovery development and why drugs fail.

About this webinar

We will explore the potential losses of maintaining the status quo within drug development workflows, versus the potential gains of supplementing your pre-clinical toolbox with organ-on-a-chip (OOC) technology, also known as microphysiological systems (MPS).

Using human liver-on-a-chip (or Liver MPS) models as an example, we will showcase how OOC assays enhance the pre-clinical assessment of novel therapeutics for scientists studying drug efficacy and toxicology.

By providing mechanistic insights that enable the design of more predictive and cost-efficient in vivo studies, OOC can reduce the number of animals required during drug development and generate data that better predicts clinical outcomes.

During the webinar, we will discuss Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), one of the most prominent forms of chronic liver disease worldwide, reflecting the epidemic of global obesity. Those with the progressive variant of NAFLD, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are at significantly greater risk of multisystem morbidity and mortality. NASH is currently un-met therapeutically. Traditional preclinical assays have failed to predict human drug efficacy as they inadequately recreate the complexity and multifaceted nature of this human disease. Building more predictive, human-relevant models is crucial to delivering efficient anti-NASH therapies to market.

MPS recapitulate key aspects of human organ architecture and phenotype in both health and disease. Our PhysioMimix® NASH model, captures important disease characteristics: intracellular hepatic fat accumulation, inflammation and fibrosis. During the webinar, we will present validation data from four anti-NASH compounds, two of which are in late-stage NAFLD /NASH clinical trials. Our presentation will demonstrate how the deep mechanistic insights and human translatability of our NASH model help to fast-track drug development and improve the chance of clinical success.

But this is not where the story ends. 1 in 4 of us has a fatty liver. This same disease model can also be used by toxicologists to explore patient stratification to establish if fatty livers increase susceptibility to drug-induced liver injury (DILI). These insights can be used to inform clinical trial design and decrease clinical risks.

The presentation will also showcase a validation data set, containing a broad range of differing drug modalities, tested in our PhysioMimix DILI assay (healthy liver). These data demonstrate the increased assay sensitivity of Liver MPS versus traditional approaches. Additionally, by generating mechanistic data that better predicts clinical outcomes, MPS provide a rapid and cost-effective way to overcome accessibility concerns surrounding in vivo animal experimentation, especially when developing drugs with human-specific modes of action.

Key Takeaways

  •  Explore how MPS replicate key aspects of human organs and disease and generate mechanistic data that predicts clinical outcomes
  • Learn about NASH and the challenges of predicting drug safety and efficacy in humans using traditional preclinical models
  • Understand how our NASH MPS was used to explore the effect of four anti-NASH compound, two of which are currently in clinical trials
  • Gain insights into how MPS enable researchers to design more predictive and cost-efficient in vivo studies that reduce the number of animals needed.

Our speakers

Dr Ovidiu Novac, Senior Scientist,  CN Bio

Dr OvidiuNovac has a background in bioengineering (biomaterials) and a PhD in controlled drug delivery devices. Ovi is a Senior Scientist at CN Bio with extensive expertise in organ-on-a-chip (OOC). Since his debut at CN Bio, in March 2020, Ovi has been involved in various projects aimed to develop and validate applications, such as NASH-in-a-box and DILI, using CN Bio’s bespoke Liver-on-a-chip.


Dr Audrey Dubourg, PhysioMimix OOC Product Manager, CN Bio

Dr Audrey Dubourg is CN Bio’s Product Manager for the PhysioMimix® OOC range of microphysiological systems. Prior to joining CN Bio, she worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), in the US, in the Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics department. She completed an MSc in microbiology at the University of Montpellier II, followed by a PhD in microbiology/parasitology at the University of East Anglia. Audrey has extensive experience in the disciplines of molecular biology and 3D mammalian cell culture. Since joining CN Bio, she has been actively involved in promoting the benefits of incorporating organ-on-a-chip technology into drug discovery and development workflows.