InSphero Coordinates European Union Project to Develop Next-Generation Test Device for Pharmaceutical Drug Screening

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InSphero, a leading supplier of 3D microtissues for predictive drug testing, is proud to announce that it will coordinate a Future Emerging Technology project (FET open) funded by the European Union to develop inter-connected microtissue systems to further improve compound de-risking.

Drug development processes in the pharmaceutical industry are highly time- and cost intensive. The translation from in vitro to in vivo is affected by high failure rates of candidate compounds in pre-clinical and clinical phases. To mitigate this, there is an urgent need for more predictive in vitro models, capable of mimicking biological processes of organisms more reliably. The FP7 FETopen project “Body-on-a-Chip”, coordinated by InSphero, sets out to close this gap by developing an integrated, highly compact system for next generation drug screening efforts.

The model system will incorporate organotypic microtissues on a microfluidic device, allowing for the simulation of tissue interactions in vivo. Implementation of highly sensitive analytics will enable the detection of biological changes in the individual tissues, thereby helping to predict the biological impact of candidate compounds on efficacy and safety in parallel.

InSphero is pleased to co-develop the Body-on-a-Chip with leading academic and industrial partners. The teaming-up of excellent expertise in the domains of microfluidics (Prof. Dr. A. Hierlemann, ETH Zurich), microtissue biology (Prof. Dr. J. G. Hengstler, IFADO), cell-based assay development (Dr. E. Tang, AstraZeneca) and high sensitivity analytics (Prof. Dr. L. Schoofs, KULeuven) will be central for the success of the project. Development efforts will be bundled to design a system that has the potential to answer fundamental biological questions, but is at the same time compatible with the requirements of industrial screening initiatives. “The close cooperation with a high profile industry partner will allow InSphero to develop and validate the new chip directly ‘in the field’, permitting us to design the device in accordance with an actual industrial need”, says Dr. David Fluri, coordinator of the project at InSphero.

For InSphero the FETopen project will be important to develop next generation drug testing devices. The new technology integrates well into the existing 3D InSight™ product portfolio and allows InSphero ultimately to provide more predictive tissue models for toxicology and drug screening applications. ”Within the scope of InSphero’s mission to provide better in vitro biology, the interconnection of several tissue types is, for us, the next step towards more physiological testing conditions and will perfectly complement our organotypic microtissue model portfolio 3D InSight™”, says Dr. Jens Kelm, Head of Product Management and Co-Founder of InSphero.

More information on the project is available at

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Manuela Vujevic
InSphero AG
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