Dec 13, 2016 | By Tess

3D bioprinting company Organovo Holdings, Inc. has just presented data that demonstrates how its 3D bioprinted human liver tissue is surviving and sustaining functionality implanted in animals. According to the company, the pre-clinical data shows the potentials of their bioprinted tissues and the benefits of advancing its technology. Organovo is presenting its data at the TERMIS-Americas Meeting in San Diego, which is running until Dec. 14, 2016.

Not long ago, the 3D bioprinting company implanted its bioprinted human liver tissue patches into NOD/SCID mice. The liver tissue patches, which are made up of human hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells, have so far been tolerated by the mice’s bodies, and have remained in place and in tact on the animals’ livers. According to the data, Organovo was able to detect key human proteins such as albumin, alpha-1-anti-trypsin and fibrinogen in the mice’s blood within 7 days of implanting the liver tissue. After 28 days, these same human proteins and substances were still in the animals’ circulation.

Eric Michael David, M.D., J.D., chief strategy officer and executive vice president of preclinical development, Organovo, said of the development: “With a critical shortage of donor organs and few alternatives to transplantation, Organovo is using its 3D bioprinting technology to develop novel therapeutic tissues for direct surgical implantation. Our preclinical data show rapid vascularization and tissue engraftment, and evidence of function and durability of our 3D bioprinted human liver tissue over several weeks. Most importantly, we see evidence of stable production of key human liver proteins in the animal bloodstream, and tissue staining for key human metabolic enzymes. The presence of these enzymes provides an important first step in demonstrating the capability of this tissue to treat inborn errors of metabolism, a key indication we are targeting.”

The data from the mouse implants certainly shows promise for Organovo’s 3D bioprinted tissues. And while it may still be awhile before humans can be implanted with the 3D printed liver tissue, the technology does seem to be advancing towards that reality. Currently, Organovo is focusing its bioprinted liver patches for use in two areas: for acute-on-chronic liver failure and pediatric inborn metabolism errors. Down the line, Organovo plans to apply for an Investigational New Drug (IND) certificate through the FDA in the hopes that it will be able to apply its bioprinting technology for therapeutic purposes within the next three to five years.

According to Organovo’s press release, the total addressable market opportunity for its first two focus areas for the liver tissue is worth more than $3 billion in the U.S. alone. Organovo has also been developing other 3D bioprinted tissues: the ExVive Human Kidney tissue service launched in September, and in October the company announced it was beginning to develop a 3D bioprinted liver for direct transplantation.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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