CN Bio has received a grant from Innovate UK to develop human-relevant single and multi-organ microphysiological systems (MPS) to advance investigations into SARS-CoV-2 infection and advance 3D lung cell culture models to accelerate drug discovery.
The grant will be spent developing and testing advanced cell culture models that represent different regions of the lung and subsequently linking these models to other organ systems, such as liver and gut, to inform the rapid development of novel therapeutics.
Dr Tomasz Kostrzeqski, Director, Biology, CN Bio, said: “This funding will enable us to develop and evaluate humanised single and multi-organ lung models, with the aim of deploying these to researchers investigating COVID-19 infection and immunology, and ultimately strengthen the fight against the spread of the virus.”
Pressure on drug discovery and development processes is high due to the fast-moving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these processes are limited by misrepresentative in vivo models that result in high proportions of new medicines failing clinical trials. CN Bio’s development investigates virology and immunology throughout the body, with a prolonged viable cell culture time for extended studies. To further improve translatability of the COVID-19 infected lung culture, the 3D model will enable researchers to create an organotypic air-liquid interface. The information obtained from the MPS will provide a better understanding the infection globally, and lead to medical developments with improved accuracy and efficiency prior to reaching clinical stages.