InSphero AG met with members of the United States House of Representatives to discuss advances in in vitro research technology that can help reduce the use of animals in research. The High-Tech Health Research Expo, organized by Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino (PA-10), gave InSphero and other life science companies the opportunity to present their technologies to Congressional leaders working to reduce the use of animal testing in the United States.
InSphero’s flagship products, 3D InSight® Human Liver Microtissues and Human Islet Microtissues, are produced using cells obtained from human donor tissue, which is broken down and reassembled into 3D microtissues using InSphero 3D Select™ Technology. Microtissues are delivered to researchers in a 96-well plate, one microtissue per well, allowing the simultaneous testing of multiple drugs on a standardized, human-derived tissue. Compared to the same cells grown in 2D, 3D microtissues more accurately reflect the native biology of in vivo human tissue, and can be cultured for over four weeks, enabling long-term testing of drug exposure over weeks instead of hours.
Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, InSphero CEO and Co-founder, says the use of more in vivo-like, human-derived 3D model systems is already making a positive impact on drug development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry. Lichtenberg says, “Our 3D models enable researchers to verify a drug’s efficacy and predict potential toxicity and side-effects using more biologically relevant cell based assays. An additional benefit is less dependency on animal models, the use of which is not only ethically charged, but can also add significant cost, delay time to market, and often fail to accurately reflect how humans will respond to a drug.”
Congressman Tom Marino, an advocate for reducing the use of animal testing for research purposes, says the event accomplished its objective of bringing together legislators and technology providers with a common aim. Marino states, “It was a pleasure to host and recognize InSphero as one of the companies who specialize in alternative, non-animal testing methods. The more stringent restrictions on animal testing imposed in Europe helped InSphero to emerge as a leader in the field of human-based tissue models. They have now established roots in the United States, and are a leading solution provider in the global cause toward developing better drugs while using fewer animals.”
InSphero has worked actively with global organizations such as the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) and the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EUSAAT) to advance the use of better in vitro models. Along with CAAT, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and Promega Corporation, InSphero has co-organized the New Frontiers in 3D Cell Culture-based Screening Technologies Conference, which will be held October 13, 2016 in Baltimore, MD.