Late last year Organova, a 3D bioprinting company, announced that they will have a 3D printed liver by the end of 2014. They also claimed that they would make the first delivery of human 3D printed liver tissue to a key opinion leader (KOL), sometime in April of this year. A key opinion leader is a top research scientist within the field, who has no relation to the company. Delivering the tissue to a KOL, and receiving positive feedback is a major accomplishment, as it will be an unbiased verification of the company’s product.
Today Organova surprised investors and the medical community in announcing that they are much further along than many had thought. Today’s announcement showed that they have already sent 3D printed human liver tissue to a KOL, and that things are moving along much faster than anticipated. Organovo’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. Sharon Presnell, stated the following in the company’s press release to investors today:
This is an important milestone for Organovo R&D. In developing these tissues, we have gone through a careful set of research studies involving many individual tissues, and greatly increased our ability to produce them. By the end of January, we expect to have bioprinted nearly four hundred 3D Liver tissues during the month.
This will also shorten the timeline to commercialization of their liver tissue. Originally set for a December 2014 release, the tissue may be ready much sooner than originally thought. Once commercialized, the tissue will allow drug companies, who will likely spend upwards of $10,000 per sample, to perform clinical trials with drugs on the living tissue in order to gain quicker FDA approval.
According to Organova’s press release today, the 3D printed liver cells exhibit many key qualities which make them remain at a stable state over time. They include:
- Tissue-like cellular density;
- Evidence of the formation of tight junctions in the liver tissues, demonstrated by cadherin and claudin staining by day 3 of tissue formation;
- Stable albumin production for over 40 days, fibrinogen and transferrin production, and inducible cytochrome P450 enzymatic activities, including CYP 1A2 and CYP 3A4;
Cholesterol biosynthesis, which has been demonstrated for the first time in a multi-cellular 3D human liver system in vitro;
- Demonstration of appropriate response to hepatotoxic insults from acetaminophen, acetaminophen in combination with ethanol, and diclofenac.
- Multi-layered architecture with multiple cell types positioned relative to one another, reaching up to 500 microns thickness, with tissues comprised of up to 20 cell layers;
Albumin production 5-9 times greater than matched 2D controls, suggesting superior functionality;
In addition to the liver tissue the company is working on, they also have been working hard on developing human kidney tissues as well as a human breast cancer tissue, both which could redefine the methods used for clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies globally
Discuss these developments: https://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?1575-Organova-Way-Ahead-of-Schedule-Delivers-First-Liver-Cells
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