The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), a national leader in translational oncology research, and Organovo Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: ONVO) ("Organovo"), a creator and manufacturer of functional, three-dimensional human tissues for medical research and therapeutic applications, have formed a collaboration to develop more clinically predictive in vitro three-dimensional cancer models that will ultimately advance discovery of novel cancer therapeutics. New biological models that more accurately replicate human cancer and malignant disease are desperately needed to enhance our understanding of how cancer develops and migrates and to deliver better oncology therapies for patients.
“The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is consistently on the leading edge of cancer research, delivering true therapeutic breakthroughs like Gleevec,” said Keith Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer at Organovo. “The knowledge and experience of the team at OHSU will be critical as we work together to create advanced models of cancer and metastasis that more reliably predict the safety and effectiveness of new therapeutics.”
Today, animal models and cancer cell lines are used to identify and test potential drug candidates, but these tools have known limitations in their ability to predict clinical outcomes. More accurate and representative human disease models have the potential to improve drug discovery and development for a number of diseases, including cancer. By applying breakthrough bioprinting technology, Organovo develops three-dimensional, architecturally correct, human disease models to improve the understanding of drug toxicity and efficacy earlier in the drug development process, enabling safer, more effective therapies.
“A major challenge in oncology research today is that animal models cannot accurately represent human physiology, and cell lines do not provide information on how cells act in a three-dimensional, native architecture,” said renowned cancer researcher Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB), Gordon Moore Chair of Biomedical Engineering in the OHSU School of Medicine and associate director for translational research for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “Using Organovo’s bioprinting technologies, we plan to create new models to understand cancer disease mechanisms and metastatic progression, which can be used to discover and test new targeted therapies.”
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D., added, “Better research models lead to a deeper understanding of disease mechanisms and more accurate information in the preclinical drug discovery and development process. We believe new technologies, like bioprinting, are important for producing more relevant models of cancer and metastasis to ultimately support the discovery of new therapeutics.”