News Feature | March 5, 2014

First Ever Catalogue Of Human Tissues Assays Announced

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By Liisa Vexler

The first catalogue of in vitro human tissue assays that are based on functional human tissue was recently launched by Biopta Ltd. This is a major announcement in the field of discovery research. It will allow scientists access to assays that will be useful in pharmaceutical research, providing a generalizable testing medium for safety and efficacy of potential new drugs.

Ex vivo studies of human tissue are critical to product development, allowing scientists in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries a predictive human model in the first phases of new product development. Up to this point, the majority of institutions and researchers have relied on animal models for early stages of product testing. The new ready access to Biopta’s human biomaterials will allow that testing on human tissue to become a more routine part of testing new products in the earliest steps of research and development in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Biopta notes that their own research has compiled a database of more than 60 human tissue assays. This database is the first of its kind – an in vitro library of intact human tissues for human functional pharmacology. The company says it aims to fill a void that existed in the pre-clinical stages of drug research by providing assays that can measure both healthy and diseased human tissue responses to pharmaceutical products.

The CEO of Biopta Lts, Dr. David Bunton, was quoted as saying, “The literature on human preclinical pharmacology is unacceptably sparse and too many decisions on early-stage compounds are made without considering translation to human biology. By illustrating the wide range of tissues and functional endpoints that are possible in human functional tissues, we hope to raise awareness that drug discovery can be de-risked at an early stage.”  

Biopta’s business development manager, Dr. Ruth McLaughlin, described the purpose of the library in this statement, “Biopta’s catalogue aims to provide important human biology data during early stage drug discovery. This library also serves as a valuable searchable resource for experimenters seeking human translational research. We will be continuing to add tissue types, functional biomarkers of drug response and different mechanisms of drug action over the coming months.”