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£900k awarded by CRACK IT Challenges to develop TDAR-on-a-chip

Funding for development in vitro TDAR assay

Leiden, the Netherlands, February 9, 2021 The CRACK IT Challenges is a competition from the NC3Rs, aimed at funding collaborations between industry, academics, small and medium-sized enterprises. The goal of these projects is to develop innovative solutions into marketable products or services that will deliver 3Rs benefits:

  • Replacement
  • Refinement
  • Reduction

... of animals in research.

We are proud to announce that our team under the supervision of Dr. Karla Queiroz, is one of three that will be awarded Phase 1 funding for the development of a human in vitro T-cell dependent antibody response (TDAR) assay. The other winners include:

  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany
  • Dr Qibo Zhang, University of Liverpool, UK

The aim of this Challenge is to develop a human in vitro TDAR assay to assess the immune enhancement properties of preclinical immunomodulatory therapeutics during development, reducing the use of non-human primates for this purpose and to better predict clinical outcomes.

Why TDAR-on-a-chip?
On-target enhancement of the immune response by immunomodulatory therapeutics can cause immunotoxicity. For immune-modulating biologics this is usually assessed in the in vivo TDAR in non-human primates.

With TDAR-on-a-chip we aim to combine all the relevant cell types to assess the immune enhancement properties of preclinical immunomodulatory therapeutics in the presence of a representative spatial organization of cells. In this way, we want to model the complex nature of the immune response, which involves the interaction of several key cell types and mediators in the morphologically coordinated architecture of lymphoid organs, such as the lymph node. Furthermore, the ability of TDAR-on-a-chip to also assess immunosuppression as part of this challenge is considered advantageous.

Stay tuned for our future plans to deliver Phase 2 of the Challenge, including commercialization and dissemination. Read more about the CRACK IT Challenges.

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