We were really happy to participate in SLAS2019 in Washington last week. In addition to spending a few relaxing days in Washington, we enjoyed the warm welcome of the US team of Molecular Devices.
We had the opportunity to present HAPIx, our HCS robotic platform fully designed and integrated by Molecular Devices (see it with a 360° video here). This amazing tool includes 2 ImageXpress Micro confocal systems. We also presented our work on 3D culture using our innovative BIOMIMESYS® technology in a talk during the tutorial organized by Molecular Devices (see our poster here – if you want the presentation, please contact us).
It was clear this year at SLAS2019 that 3D culture is effectively more and more used in a first intention during the drug discovery process. Organ-on-a-chip systems are also well used to mimic the dynamic effect of blood perfusion in the organs and bring higher relevance of in vitro assays to help to find new drugs. As shown for this example by Virneliz Fernandez Vega from Scripps Research, using 3D culture for screening increases the physiological relevance toward humans and some hits obtained from 3D culture are not active in 2D culture assays.
We were also impressed by the work of Steven George from University of California, who has succeeded in creating a perfused vascular network in a chip, as a basis for developing complex and integrated “organ-on-a-chip” platform to model a human primary tumor and the human bone marrow. The “cancer-on-a-chip” and “bone marrow-on-a-chip” can be then coupled to analyze how human cancer manipulates systemic organs such as the bone marrow during the progression of tumor to a systemic disease.
In HCS Pharma, we are convinced that finding new drugs will go through the establishment of predictive 3D in vitro cellular model, that are closer to in vivo situation. In this context, BIOMIMESYS® technology is a key to reproduce the cellular microenvironment and thus improve the relevance of in vitro models.