CN Bio and iiCON Announce COVID-19 Research Collaboration


9 November 2021 09:08 UTC

CAMBRIDGE & LIVERPOOL, England – (BUSINESS WIRE) – CN Bio, one of the leading organ-on-a-chip (OOC) companies that designs and manufactures single-organ and multi-organ microphysiological systems (MPS), today announced a research collaboration with the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), a global collaborative infectious disease R&D program, to validate the next generation of COVID-19 research tools.

IiCON’s £ 174million program brings together industry, academia and clinicians to accelerate the discovery, development and deployment of new treatments and products, saving and improving millions of lives through collaborative innovation . Led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), its partner members are Unilever, Evotec, Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, University of Liverpool and Infex Therapeutics.

Under the terms of the agreement, iiCON’s lead partner, LSTM, a leading global institute for infectious disease research, will independently validate CN Bio’s new lung and lung-liver models, designed to advance the discovery and development of new drugs against SARS-CoV-2.

CN Bio’s SARS-CoV-2 3D lung cell culture models were developed as part of an Innovate UK project to improve the efficiency and accuracy of COVID-19 drug development. The company received funding to build multicellular models of the human upper and lower airways and multi-organ that more accurately reflect the human environment and provide more translatable data, compared to current models. in vivo studies1.

By combining in vitro lung and liver cultures, the multi-organ model only allows the effects of inter-organ crosstalk to be studied; provide more in-depth human-specific mechanistic information on the state of the COVID-19 disease, which is known to affect many tissues / organs in the body2. The single and multi-organ models were developed for use with the company’s PhysioMimix ™ plug-and-play laboratory MPS, allowing direct incorporation into current preclinical research projects investigating the next generation of COVID-19 therapies for treat and prevent infection.

By expanding the project with Innovate UK, within nine months, CN Bio perfused lung models must be transferred to LSTM for validation, in order to demonstrate the ability of PhysioMimix systems to support the complete viral lifecycle of SARS-CoV -2 and to facilitate testing. with antiviral compounds. The LSTM will validate the use of the systems in high containment laboratories (CL3) for studies with infectious viral material and will validate the potential of the system to identify PK / PD indices and PD targets for the development of safe dosing regimens and effective new antiviral therapies.

As a result of this initial assessment, it is expected that iiCON will have access to PhysioMimix technology and its associated 3D tissue models for a variety of translational infectious disease projects. A positive result from the collaboration will support researchers around the world in providing advanced information on SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans and allow CN Bio to expand its portfolio of OOC models to address a wider range and more diverse therapeutic areas.

Dr Tomasz Kostrzewski, Director of Biology, CN Bio, said:IiCON’s commitment to collaborative innovation enabled our pioneering partnership with consortium leader, LSTM. This collaboration will provide access to the institute’s cutting-edge infectious disease research expertise, in addition to the consortium’s exceptional links with industry.

“As a result of this collaboration, our common intention is that the data generated be published, providing us with the evidence that supports the adoption of PhysioMimix microphysiological systems in industry, where they can be used as translational tools to accelerate understanding of the SARS. infection with CoV-2 and therefore accelerate the development of new treatment options.

Professor Giancarlo Biagini, Head of the iiCON Platform, Head of the Department of Tropical Disease Biology at LSTM and UKRI Innovation Fellow, said: “Facilitating the industry academic interface to advance transformative technologies and accelerate innovative health solutions to our most pressing global infectious disease challenges is at the heart of iiCON’s goal.

“As a member of the consortium, LSTM is delighted to enter into this key agreement with CN Bio. By leveraging emerging organ-on-a-chip technology, we aim to develop preclinical platforms that accelerate translational research into new therapies to manage and treat major human infections, including emerging and serious infectious diseases such as SARS-COV-2. “

  1. Press Release: CN Bio Receives Innovate UK Grant to Develop Single and Multi-Organ Models for COVID-19 Research (1st March 2021)
  2. Jain U. Effect of COVID-19 on Organs. Curate. 2020; 12 (8): e9540. Posted Aug 3, 2020 doi: 10.7759 / cureus.9540

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