Organovo (PINK:ONVO), the contract research organization known for their 3D bio-printed liver tissue, announced today that it began commercial contracting for its second tissue service, the ExVive Human Kidney.
The San Diego, Calif.-based group is widely recognized for their bio-printed liver tissue that pharma giants like Merck and Roche use to assess toxicity for pre-clinical drugs. The 3D, bio-printed tissue is a close approximation to the real thing, with cell-to-cell interactions in a complex matrix. Companies use the samples to anticipate how a drug will react to the intricacies of living tissue.
The company reports that it has signed many commercial orders for its new kidney drug-testing service, including an agreement with 2 major pharmaceutical companies.
Each sample of bio-printed kidney comes from a cadaver or donor cells. In a single sample of tissue, there are about 1 million cells. The kidney tissue mimics the proximal tubule, the primary site of renal toxicity. The tissue maintains its function for 4 weeks and can detect injury and recovery, according to an Organovo press release.
The company expects that this service will grow into the $100 million potential revenue range, similar to previous market projections for their liver service.
“The powerful data Organovo is releasing on the ExVive kidney tissue demonstrates significant potential value for our pharmaceutical customers,” CEO & chair Keith Murphy said in prepared remarks. “The compelling symphony of transporter function and the demonstration of a response to a known toxicant boost our excitement as we bring to market an advanced way to investigate preclinical kidney toxicity of new drug candidates.”
“We now have a technical capability that no CRO has,” Murphy said to Xconomy. “Think about how compelling it is to change the animal model testing paradigm. The potential of this is to do way better [drug] discovery.”