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Validating Organoid Use for Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

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Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB), and the health insurance companies CZ, Zilveren kruis, and Menzis will start a €3 million validation trial for use of HUB Organoid Technology to test if it can be used to determine the response of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients to new drug therapies.

Organoids are mini-organs grown in cell culture from biopsies taken from patients and faithfully recapitulate the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of diseased tissues. HUB Organoids have demonstrated to be valuable disease models for screening and validation of innovative medicines.

Cystic Fibrosis is a life treating disease for which only recently new treatments have been developed. The new drug treatments have proven to be a breakthrough in the treatment of CF patients. However, the costs of these therapies and the limited benefit in certain patients, have been a hurdle to general inclusion in reimbursement programs. To keep expensive medication available for the general population it is important to be able to identify responding patients. The new project will demonstrate if the HUB Organoid Technology can be used as predictive test for the treatment, which would greatly help to treat CF patients effectively.

Hans Clevers, CSO of HUB, said: “The new project is a major next step for the implementation of the HUB Organoid technology. We are very happy that this very recently developed technology might already benefit patients.’’ “It is important that also expensive medication is available for patients and therefore treatment needs to be carefully considered so that we treat only patients who respond. Because we do not want to exclude anyone who requires new medication, this validation trial is very important to develop a test that will show who does and who does not benefit from a specific therapy”, said Joep de Groot, Board of Directors of CbusineZ, innovation company of CZ.

‘‘The support of the Dutch health insurance companies to implement new breakthrough treatments and technologies demonstrates the ambition of medical scientists and health care professionals to improve health care together’’, said Robert Vries, COO of HUB.

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