Servier, an independent international pharmaceutical company, and Poietis, a leader in the production of living bioprinted tissues, are partnering to use Poietis’s 4D bioprinting technology for the development and production of liver tissues.
This partnership seeks to improve the detection of drug-induced liver lesions as early as the preclinical trial phase. Such lesions are rare but can have serious consequences for patients. This hepatotoxic potential is poorly detected by current preclinical models. Beyond animal models, various models based on human cell cultures are available, but most lack longevity and complexity, which limits their usefulness in toxicology. Poietis’s 4D bioprinting technology has emerged as an innovative technology capable of helping to overcome these limitations.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of this partnership with Servier. Their non-clinical safety team is highly experienced when it comes to using the full range of in vitro toxicology tools, and it is very gratifying to have been selected as a partner in their search for new cellular models and new techniques. The developments we are planning will strive for greater precision, and the associated application requirements, in which control over morphogenesis and standardization issues, are essential,” said Bruno Brisson, General Manager and Chief Business Officer at Poietis.
The partnership is based on the reproduction of a new, complex, bioprinted human liver tissue containing lines of human liver cells and immunocompetent cells within a defined architecture designed to imitate human liver tissue in vitro.
According to Hélène Aerts, in charge of Biologie Servier’s in vitro platform, Poietis’ technology’s ability to include different cell types within a single extracellular matrix will make it possible to recreate a microtissue in which inflammatory response and tissue remodeling phenomena can be studied in vitro, “This project will advance our understanding of hepatotoxicity mechanisms and allow us to offer tests to detect, as early as possible, any adverse effects when developing our medicinal products,” said Nancy Claude, Director of Non-Clinical Safety at Servier. “We can expect to see fewer undesirable hepatic effects in patients as early as the clinical test phase.”
Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a non-profit foundation, with its headquarters in France (Suresnes). With a strong international presence in 149 countries and a turnover of 4.152 billion euros in 2017, the company employs 21.700 people worldwide. Entirely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of its turnover (excluding generic drugs) in research and development and uses all its profits for research and development. Corporate growth is driven by Servier’s constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiovascular, immune-inflammatory and neuropsychiatric diseases, cancer and diabetes, as well as by its activities in high-quality generic drugs. Servier also offers eHealth solutions beyond drug development.
Dr. Fabien Guillemot, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer at Poietis is convinced that the long-term partnership with Servier to develop liver tissue with bioprinting technology is an important step in the deployment of 4D bioprinting in the pharmaceutical industry. Following our collaboration with KUL on cartilage bioprinting for the purposes of tissue repair, this new scientific partnership with Laboratoires Servier is in line with the strategy of Poietis, which aims to extend the use of its technology beyond its initial applications in dermocosmetics,” he added.