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Adoption of organ-on-chip platforms by the pharmaceutical industry

Leiden, October 13, 2021 – Our CEOs Paul Vulto and Jos Joore published a correspondence article about the adoption of organ-on-chip platforms by the pharmaceutical industry. This article has been published in Nature Reviews – Drug Discovery.

The Organ-on-a-chip (OoC) field has the ambition to improve the decision-making process during drug development. The potential of OoC technology to mimic human physiology more effectively than the traditional approaches makes it extremely valuable as a predictive tool that can guide researchers during drug evaluation. Multiple companies have been established to commercially offer robust OoC platforms to deliver on this ambition. These companies have invested years of work and millions of dollars in getting OoC technology from a proof of concept to applicable products and service offerings by establishing protocols, assays, quality control measures, and customer support.

To study if these efforts have led to industry adoption of OoC technology, scientific publications that make use of OoC (co-) authored by pharmaceutical companies between 2018-2020 have been highlighted. Our analysis shows that OoC platforms developed by a variety of companies have been implemented by the pharmaceutical industry, contrary to suggestions from academic research. Notably, MIMETAS works with the majority of the top-50 pharma, and the OrganoPlate® is the most widely published platform by pharma in the OoC field. It is expected that future efforts of the OoC industry will shift from platform development to the development of new culture protocols, assays, disease modeling, and validation to optimize the use of OoCs for pharmaceutical research, making OoC a cornerstone in the drug development process.

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