$15 million Awarded by NIH for 3-D Tissue Development

NIH will award 13 “Tissue Chip for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing” awards totaling $15 million per year toward the development of 3-D microphysiological systems to model diseases.

According to the NIH, during clinical trials more than 60 percent of investigational drugs fail, even if they showed promising results in pre-clinical studies on cell and animal research. In an effort to stop this from happening, NIH has announced it will award 13 “Tissue Chip for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing” awards in the form of $15 million per year for two years to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard University, and others toward the development of 3-D Tissue Development (also known as microphysiological) systems to model diseases.

These systems, referred to as “tissue chips,” will mimic functions of human systems and organs in addition to supporting living cells. Tissue chips will provide researchers a new way of testing drugs before human clinical trials, and to better understand drug safety and toxicity. The funding will allow scientists to understand a disease more thoroughly as well as accurately predict how a patient will respond to a drug treatment. NIH hopes this will help the success rate of drugs in clinical trials. Researchers will study diseases such as ALS, rheumatoid arthritis, influenza, kidney disease, and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy before partnering with pharmaceutical companies to assess a candidate drugs effectiveness (read more).

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