Emulate partners with Roche for drug discovery
Emulate announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with F Hoffman La-Roche AG (Roche) that will use Emulate’s Human Emulation System across R&D programs to enable more human-relevant studies that will lead to earlier and better prediction of safety and efficacy of drug candidates. The partnership will use the Human Emulation System — a lab-ready system comprised of Organ-Chips, instrumentation, and software apps — to discover and develop new classes of therapeutic antibodies and drug combinations, many of which have complexities and human-specific features.
The partnership is designed to use Organ-Chips that reflect the complex biology required to model the effects of therapeutic antibodies in humans, overcoming the limitations of current preclinical experimental methods. Emulate’s Organ-Chips recreate the complex, dynamic state in which cells function within a human organ. Immune cells can also be introduced into Organ-Chips, which allows for human-relevant testing of antibodies and drug combinations.
Other components of the partnership include using Organ-Chips to gain further insight into disease mechanisms, to increase predictability and early detection of biomarkers, and to reduce the use of animals in scientific testing. An additional goal of the partnership is to use patient-derived cells in Organ-Chips to make progress with strategies for personalized drug safety and allow a new approach to augment the prediction of disease or treatment variation between individuals.
“We are thrilled to establish this partnership with Roche, with the goal of changing the way drug discovery and development is done — from early discovery, all the way to the clinic,” said Geraldine A. Hamilton, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Emulate. “Our approach is to start with the patient and end with the patient by using patient-derived cells with Organ-Chips. As we produce more human-relevant data with our Organ-Chips, we look forward to making a positive impact on informing R&D decisions, reducing drug candidate attrition in human clinical trials, and helping to deliver better and safer medicines to patients.”
Through this three-year research partnership, scientists from both companies will work side-by-side, initially within Emulate’s labs in Boston. This partnership features an innovative approach based in a jointly-run lab at Emulate where scientists will work together to use Organ-Chips for testing of efficacy and safety of new antibody therapeutics and combination therapies. Emulate will provide its technology along with the scientific expertise to implement a range of experimental designs for evaluating Roche’s drug candidates. The collaborative research will initially focus on using Emulate’s Lung-Chip and Brain-Chip, with the opportunity to expand to use other Organ-Chips.