Our work has emphasized creating both healthy and diseased model organ systems, we call microphysiological systems or ‘organ chips’, to address the broken drug discovery process. The average time to develop and launch a new drug is 10-15 years, and costs ~ $5b. The poor efficiency and high failure rates are attributed to the heavy reliance on non-human animal models employed during safety and efficacy testing that poorly reflect human disease states. With the discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells, we can now develop organ chips to be used for high content drug screening, disease modelling, and precision medicine. While organ chips are poised to disrupt the drug development process and significantly reduce the cost of bringing a new drug candidate to market, organ chip technology is much more robust and creates a whole new paradigm in how to conduct biological science, and advances medicine in revolutionary ways. While chips featuring single organs can be of great use for both pharmaceutical testing and basic organ-level studies, the huge potential of organ chip technology is revealed by connecting multiple organs on a single chip to create a scalable integrated human system for mechanistic biological studies and devising therapies for common, rare, and difficult to study diseases. Ultimately, the vision is to reduce or eliminate the use of animals in drug discovery, and conduct ‘clinical trials’ in patient-specific organ chips that can accommodate variations in genetics, environment, and lifestyle.
Speaker: Kevin Healy, UC Berkeley
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Berkeley, CA 94720
Website: Click to Visit