Organ-on-chip technology will be moving out of the lab and into the commercial market

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

organ-on-chip image courtesy of Emulate
organ-on-chip image courtesy of Emulate

Related tags Pharmacology

This week, Emulate announced new funding and research partnerships that will advance the technology, which has significant potential for cosmetic and personal care development and testing.

In 2014 Emulate got its start as a spinoff of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. Researchers there had been working for over ten years on a human bioemulation solution.

For Emulate, the plan was to take the newly developed organ-on-chip technology, which mimics parts, systems, or diseases affecting the human body, and commercialize it, thereby making it available to pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, food companies, cosmetics companies, etc.

At the time, Emulate’s Series A funding amounted to $12m.  And the company was certain it had a solution that “opens up entirely new possibilities to develop products with enhanced properties, improved efficacy and safety, and personalization to patients and consumers,”​ as James Coon, CEO of Emulate then told the press.

More money

With an additional $17m in Series B funding, Emulate will move its lab-ready tech further toward the commercial market. That $17m brings this round of funding up to $45m for the company.

The current solution incorporates “instrumentation and software apps and is designed to provide a new R&D platform that predicts human response to diseases, medicines, chemicals and foods with greater precision and detail than cell culture or animal testing experimental methods,” ​according to a press release about the new moneys.

“We are excited to expand this Series B financing to include the support of a wide group of such high-quality investors who are aligned with our vision to commercialize the Organs-on-Chips technology. The funding will help accelerate product development cycles, and improve product efficacy and safety across a range of industries - including pharmaceutical, chemical, food and consumer products companies,”​ says Coon.

“We are rapidly moving toward launching our Human Emulation System to the next stage of commercial development, so that our technology will operate as a plug-and-play system in the hands of product development teams and researchers around the world,”​ he adds.

More research

Also this week, Emulate announced two new partnerships. The company will be working with the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC on research and development projects related to cancer treatment and patient wellness, explains a company media release about that deal.

Commenting on the partnership, Shannon M. Mumenthaler, the director of the Stephenson Family Personalized Medicine Center at the Ellison Institute, tells the press, “The human-relevant model systems offered by Organs-on-Chips technology are ideally suited to evolve the way we understand the complexities of cancer biology.”

Emulate is also teaming up with LabCorp on preclinical drug evaluations. “The companies will work together to identify and qualify specific applications in which Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips platform can help improve the existing drug development process.”

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