UK facility to manufacture organoids for drug discovery

A new facility has opened in Cardiff, UK designed to manufacture patient-derived organoids (PDOs) at scale for use in drug discovery and development.

The multi-million-pound facility was custom-built by Molecular Devices to house its bioprocess workflow and bioreactor technology

Mary Duseau, President of Molecular Devices said: “With our new facility, we now have the capacity to manufacture 300 million PDOs annually. Given the utility of PDOs for precision medicine and predictive toxicology, their expanded availability for use in drug discovery will reduce the time and cost of bringing new life-saving therapies to the market.”

Dr Robert Vries is CEO of HUB Organoids, the inventors of organoid technology and a long-time collaborator of Molecular Devices. He said: “At HUB Organoids, we recognise the immense potential of organoids and are committed to advancing this cutting-edge technology. Opening this state-of-the-art facility marks a pivotal moment in the field, as Molecular Devices, one of our key licensees, can now grow organoids at scale to meet the growing demands of researchers worldwide.

“It not only enables them to accelerate progress in understanding human biology and disease mechanisms but also sets their customers up for breakthroughs in drug discovery and personalised medicine.”

Opened by Nobel Laureate

Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Martin Evans unveiled a plaque at the launch event. Evans was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine for ground-breaking discoveries concerning the discovery of mammalian embryonic stem cells and DNA recombination.

Throughout his tenure as Head of the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, Evans championed the innovative 3D organoid cell culture research undertaken in Professor Trevor Dale’s on-campus lab that ­– alongside Bath University – gave rise to the start-up biotech company Cellesce, acquired by Molecular Devices in 2022.

Professor Sir Martin Evans said: “I am very pleased to see the developmental potential of human stem cells being so effectively leveraged in organoids for facilitating pharmaceutical research.”

In 2023, the Welsh Government unveiled a Manufacturing Plan for Wales to continue growing the country’s thriving industry. The manufacturing sector, which includes life sciences, contributes over 16% to Wales’ national economic output, nearly double the UK average.

Register for this free event on 18 June to find out more about the role of organoids in drug discovery.

Photo shows: From Left to Right: Mary Duseau, President, Molecular Devices – Victoria Marsh-Durban, Director, Custom Organoid Services, Molecular Devices – Robert Vries, CEO HUB Organoids – Professor Sir Martin Evans, Nobel Laureate.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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