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InSphero Launches 14 Day Hepatotoxicity Testing Service

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InSphero AG has launched a 14 Day Hepatotoxicity Testing Service designed to meet increased demand for contract screening in their patent-pending 3D InSight™ Human Liver Microtissues. The service streamlines toxicity testing of compounds in InSphero’s 3D liver microtissues by initiating regular screening runs on the first Tuesday of each month at a cost of $990 per compound.

The newest addition to the company’s growing portfolio of 3D InSight™ Services takes advantage of the more liver-like functionality and greater than 4 week in vitro lifespan of primary liver cells (hepatocytes and Kupffer cells) when co-cultured as 3D spheroids, allowing repeated dosing of compounds over the two week testing protocol.

Such testing is unique to 3D cultures, as the same cells grown in 2D (monolayer) culture live only a matter of days, allowing only limited assessment of drug toxicities. The service quantifies total cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as a measurement of cell viability, an assay routinely used to assess drug induced liver injury (DILI). Results for test compounds and defined control compounds are returned to the customer three weeks after initial dosing.

Since its commercial launch in 2010, InSphero has seen the rapid adoption of its 3D InSight™ Microtissues and Services by leading pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics companies. More recently, large pharma organizations have completed validation studies and begun converting from conventional assays to InSphero’s 3D microtissues.

Dr. Johannes Haugstetter, Director of Services for InSphero, says exposing cells to drugs over 14 days can reveal toxicity at lower doses than seen when only treated for a matter of hours or days, as in 2D hepatocyte assays. “Long-term exposure in 3D models more accurately predicts potential drug toxicity by mimicking native liver tissue and the repeated exposure to drugs that would be experienced by a patient repeatedly taking the drug. 14 Day Hepatotoxicity Testing provides more reliable evidence of a drug’s safety or potential toxicity, and does so at a fraction of the cost of animal models, which may not accurately reflect the response in humans. Growing acceptance of our liver microtissues as a more predictive and mechanistically relevant model necessitated the adoption of a convenient format for routine, long-term testing of compounds that emerge from primary screens.”

The 14 Day Hepatotoxicity Testing Service complements an array of InSphero standard and custom service offerings, including endpoints to determine functional and mechanistic drug toxicity in 3D microtissues derived from liver, pancreas, heart, brain and skin.