How can we accelerate and improve drug development? By improving the methodologies we use along the way. While animal- or cell-based studies are currently the standard for preclinical trials, they are simply not effective enough. After all, clinical trials often fail because preclinical trials didn’t provide enough insight. TNO’s Organ-on-a-Chip (OoaC) technologies offer a better solution. We use human cells or tissue for faster, more accurate results.

Fewer animals, more humans

Pharma and biotech companies understand the limitations of animal testing. Although they can provide initial indications of drug interactions or efficacy, clinical results often do not match the results obtained from preclinical studies. With ethical questions related to animal testing driving the industry to search for better solutions, OoaC can be a viable alternative. It accurately mimics human organ functionalities to predict absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) and/or efficacy of medical compounds in preclinical phase, and moreover provide deeper insights into how interventions can impact human health.

Watch the recording of the webinar: Organ on a chip

On the 9th of March we shared the latest developments on our Organ on a chip programme. Check out the recording below and the Q&A with 13 questions and answers from our audience. Read the Q&A >

Modelling human systems

TNO has translational preclinical modelling platforms for a variety of human organs. The two most robust are Liver-on-a-Chip (LoaC) and Gut-on-a-Chip (GoaC). Because of TNO’s extensive knowledge about the mechanisms and underlying biology of these two systems, we focused our initial OoaC research on them.

LoaC is available to study the effect of intervention on a variety of liver diseases. And GoaC offers deeper insight into the complex workings of the human gut. Both platforms can offer medium- to high-throughput investigation of compound variations and relevant variables in effective interventions in the liver and gut.

TNO also uncovered the keys to modelling other organs, such as kidneys, lungs and skin. The next step will be to combine these technologies in a microfluidic system that models the entire ADME process from start to finish.

Biology at its core

The key to OoaC’s success and accuracy is TNO’s focus on biology. Our extensive knowledge about the workings of the human body helps us focus our solutions on the biological mechanisms that matter most. By putting biology first, we can develop technology that addresses those specific mechanisms. This results in directly applicable technology that is effective and fit-for-purpose. We collect robust data that are analysed based on histology, biochemistry and other underlying biological systems. We apply our expertise to make sense of the data and offer useable insights that lead to faster, more accurate development.

The road towards personalised medicine

Today, our OoaC technologies enable faster, more effective predictive models of the effect of medical interventions. This can help stratify and streamline clinical trials and accelerate drug efficacy studies. OoaC technologies can also offer realistic steps towards personalised medicine and population-specific interventions. By utilising human tissue, advanced disease induction capabilities and stem-cell-based organoids, TNO aims to help developers more swiftly and accurately mimic the conditions their compounds are intended to address, and also identify the variables that may cause non-responsiveness in certain patient populations.

Find out more

Want to accelerate your drug development? TNO is offering its OoaC technologies on a fee-for-service basis, but is also interested in partnering with stakeholders to further develop the technology. Because the only way to reduce the use of animal models and accelerate development is to offer a better way. With OoaC, that way is clear.

Contact

Dr. Robert Ostendorf

  • Translational research
  • Preclinical
  • NASH
  • Fibrosis
  • Organ-on-a-chip