Organovo Presents Data on 3D Printed Kidney and Liver Tissue at Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting


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organovo-logo-1We received our last update on 3D bioprinting company Organovo a couple of weeks ago, when it released a plethora of new information regarding the performance of its 3D printed kidney and liver tissue in research and testing. The news was all good – the data so far shows that the 3D printed tissue has great potential for pharmaceutical testing, and the possibility of creating functional 3D printed organs still hovers as a goal somewhere in the future.

This week, Organovo is presenting its research in person at the Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) 56th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, which is taking place in Baltimore from March 12 to 16. While the program is already well underway, Organovo is by no means done yet; the company is staying busy at the conference with a total of eight presentations about its ExVive 3D Bioprinted Human Liver and Kidney Tissues and their effectiveness in assessing drug safety and detecting liver injury and kidney toxicity.


“We’re pleased by the strong early feedback on our newest product, the ExVive Human Kidney Tissue, and the ongoing uptake and validation of ExVive Human Liver Tissue by our customers and partners,” said Dr. Sharon Presnell, chief scientific officer, Organovo. “The commercial launch of our kidney proximal tubule model, in addition to our recent peer-reviewed publication highlighting its potential to become a key preclinical model for in vitro kidney toxicity testing, demonstrates our commitment to delivering novel tissue models using our platform technology. We are expanding our portfolio by adding new tissues and by validating the use of our existing tissues across a broader set of applications. The unique ability of our human liver model to reveal mechanisms of action for drug-induced livery injury (“DILI”) and model key aspects of chronic, progressive liver diseases such as fibrosis continues to put us at the forefront of in vitro human tissue modeling.”

Organovo will present data that shows the effective use of ExVive Kidney and Liver Tissues in the following applications, as stated by the company:

  • Differentiating high-risk compounds from low-risk to evaluate the multiple pathways and mechanisms of DILI
  • Identifying the metabolite-driven tox mechanisms of compounds such as acetaminophen in a concentration- and dose-dependent manner, thereby modeling tissue-level clinical outcomes in vitro
  • Characterizing the role of Kupffer cells (KCs) in modulating the outcome of drug-induced liver fibrosis
  • Demonstrating sustained metabolic capacity over time in terms of metabolic enzyme expression, metabolite formation, and gene expression levels to assess slow developing DILI toxicities
  • Illustrating the multiple mechanisms of nephrotoxicity to evaluate the progression and subsequent recovery of tissue-level injury
  • Assessing the expression, polarized localization and function of renal transporters involved in drug-induced renal toxicity


“Our powerful and versatile technology platform delivers 3D bioprinted tissues that provide an accurate, predictive and reproducible model of human liver and kidney biology for preclinical toxicity testing,” said Paul Gallant, general manager, Organovo. “Customer adoption of our NovoView Preclinical Safety Services for hepatoxicity testing continues to be strong, with a growing list of applications and use cases driving market adoption including investigative toxicology, evaluation of different compound modalities and fibrosis modeling for drug discovery. The demand for our drug safety testing services has been growing since its introduction, and long-term market adoption is expected to be robust given the significant gap it closes against traditional preclinical models. At this year’s SOT Annual Meeting, we will build on our sales momentum by continuing to show that our 3D bioprinted tissues effectively model in vivo composition and physiology.”

The presentations include a Scientific Symposium entitled “Utilization of Bioprinted Human Liver Tissues for Toxicology Applications and Disease Modeling,” given by Rhiannon Hardwick, PhD, of Organovo, in addition to the following:

Exhibitor-Hosted Sessions:

  • “Simplifying the Complex: Using 3D Bioprinted Kidney Tissue to Unravel the Intricate Mechanisms of Drug-Induced Nephrotoxicity,” presented by Deborah G. Nguyen, PhD, of Organovo
  • “The Advantages of ExVive 3D Bioprinted Liver Tissue in Elucidating Clinically Relevant Mechanisms of Drug-Induced Hepatoxicity,” presented by Sharon Collins Presnell, PhD, Organovo, and Leah M. Norona, Doctoral Candidate, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Poster Presentations:

  • “Utilization of the ExVive Human Liver Tissue Model to Assess Drug-Induced Liver Injury Across a Diverse Set of Chemical Classes,” presented by Candace M. Corgan-Grundy, PhD, Organovo
  • “Utilization of the ExVive Human Kidney Tissue Model of Proximal Tubule to Assess Nephrotoxicity Across a Diverse Set of Chemical Classes,” presented by J. William Higgins, Organovo
  • “Mechanistic Study of Acetominophen-Induced Liver Injury Using a 3D Bioprinted Human Liver Tissue Model,” presented by Masato Ohbuchi, PhD, of Astellas Pharma Inc.
  • “3D Bioprinted Human Liver: Metabolic and Transcriptional Characterization,” presented by Andreas Baudy, PhD, Merck & Co.
  • “Temporal Characterization of a 3D Bioprinted Model May Provide New Insight into Events Underlying Fibrotic Liver Injury,” presented by Leah M. Norona

organovo-bioprintingThe fact that Organovo and its bioprinting technology are being so prominently featured (though not for the first time) at a conference that’s been going on for over half a century is a strong indicator that 3D printed tissue is beginning to have a real-world effect – something that can be hard to see from the outside. 3D printed human tissue – it sounds amazing, but what is it really useful for? Organovo is going to be answering that question with concrete data and examples, and I suspect that a lot more people are likely to understand the importance of bioprinting after the end of this week.

Also at the SOT conference this week, a doctoral candidate will be presented with the Organovo-backed Colgate-Palmolive Award for Student Research Training in Alternative Methods. The winner will study the dose-dependent impact of an environmental toxin and the underlying mechanisms using ExVive Liver Tissue. Discuss in the Organovo forum at


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