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Transforming Human Drug Testing

3D Health Solutions, Inc., is a start-up entity that is seeking to expand upon and commercialize 3-dimensional in vitro canine cell culture lines for therapeutic drug screening purposes.  The overall objective is to provide the veterinary and human drug pharmaceutical industry with assays on multi-species organoid cell lines and microfluidics techniques for drug absorption, efficacy and safety screening that will deliver superior predictability than current in vitro systems.

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The process of R&D and regulatory approval of new drugs for humans is time-consuming and expensive, at ~$1.5B per approved drug. Pre-clinical drug discovery is characterized by in vitro testing of drugs for toxicity/safety/efficacy. The drugs are then tested on rodent- and non-rodent (usually dog) models to determine whether the compound will be taken into human clinical trials.

For orally administered drugs—the majority of products launched into the market—this phase also critically involves prediction of oral bioavailability, i.e. the degree to which a drug reaches the peripheral blood after oral administration. This is currently tested via in vitro intestinal absorption assays. However, the translatability of these studies is minimal at best, as 90% of all drugs developed ultimately fail to enter the market.

Our proposed new approach, intestinal permeability and metabolism testing based on canine intestinal organoids, is expected to significantly improve the predictability of in vitro systems currently used for pre-clinical drug research. This advance will allow for early selection of the most-promising drug candidates and will thus reduce the number of live animal studies and their associated costs while accelerating transition from pre-clinical research to early drug development.


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