Kidney platforms could reduce animal testing in tox studies

Kidney on a chip technology

Kidney disease researchers at the University of Washington will use a multimillion-dollar federal grant to advance drug development platforms that would reduce reliance on animal tests.

The investigators, in the UW schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, received the $7.3 million award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Their research aims to finalise multiple kidney-tissue platforms for drug testing, and submit those platforms to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.

“We are incredibly pleased to receive this award. It’s an exciting project that will be the capstone for our already 10-plus years of NCATS funding for kidney-on-a-chip and kidney organoid research,” said Dr Jonathan Himmelfarb, Professor of Nephrology at the UW School of Medicine.

Tissue chips are engineered platforms that incorporate three-dimensional architecture and fluid flow, making them superior to other systems in mimicking human kidney function. Developed over the past decade, these systems use human kidney cells, including stem cells, to enable scientists to create human models of disease, and then test novel drugs and define new therapeutic strategies.

The funded project is formally known as the UW Translational Center for Microphysiological Systems. Himmelfarb will direct the effort.

“The FDA Modernization Act 2.0 permits the use of alternative approaches to animal testing for predicting drug safety prior to initiation of trials in humans,” said Ed Kelly, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy. “As a toxicologist, being able to use alternative technologies to animal testing is an important advancement, with respect to the 3Rs of toxicology: reduce, refine and replace animal testing.”

By DIANA SPENCER, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

Related Articles

Join FREE today and become a member
of Drug Discovery World

Membership includes:

  • Full access to the website including free and gated premium content in news, articles, business, regulatory, cancer research, intelligence and more.
  • Unlimited App access: current and archived digital issues of DDW magazine with search functionality, special in App only content and links to the latest industry news and information.
  • Weekly e-newsletter, a round-up of the most interesting and pertinent industry news and developments.
  • Whitepapers, eBooks and information from trusted third parties.
Join For Free