Emulate today disclosed a pair of research collaborations aimed at advancing its Organs-On-Chips platform technology, designed to model human response to diseases, medicines, chemicals, and foods by integrating microengineering with living human cells.
The value of the collaborations was not disclosed.
The company said it will partner with Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®) to integrate Organs-on-Chips—which attempts to recreate the natural physiology of human tissues and organs—into preclinical drug evaluation and testing services.
The collaboration is designed to integrate Emulate’s technology with the drug development expertise of Covance, which LabCorp acquired for more than $6 billion in a deal completed in February of 2015.
The partners aim to commercialize Organs-on-Chips as a new platform to enhance preclinical drug development by focusing first on the Kidney-Chip, studying how Organ-Chips can assist in assessments of drug-transporter interaction. Emulate said it may expand its collaboration with LabCorp in the future to include additional Organ-Chips and enable commercialization of the Organs-on-Chips technology.
“We are pleased to partner with Emulate on technology that shows promise to help improve the speed and success of early-stage drug evaluation,” Covance CSO Steven Anderson, Ph.D., said in a statement.
Separately, Emulate said it will partner with the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) to use Organs-on-Chips in conducting translational R&D intended to advance cancer treatment.
Emulate said it will join the Ellison Institute to develop new approaches for modeling the human physiology of cancer and predicting human response to treatments. The collaboration is aimed at expanding the functionality and applications of using the Organs-on-Chips technology in cancer research.
The collaboration with the Ellison Institute is designed to foster translational research and thus expand the range of academic, commercial, and clinical applications for the company’s Human Emulation System™ human biology model, Emulate added.
Emulate and the Ellison Institute will agree to work together on the development of specific organ and disease models that leverage the Ellison Institute’s expertise in cancer innovation, with the potential to lead to new Organ-Chip products to commercialize within Emulate’s Human Emulation System.
The system, which is based on Organs-On-Chips, is designed to predict human response to diseases, medicines, and chemicals with greater precision and control than cell-culture or animal-based testing approaches.
The Ellison Institute will also gain early access to Emulate’s lab-ready product platform—including new automated instrumentation, Organ-Chips, and software applications—for novel research programs within its own laboratories.