- Collaboration aimed at developing novel "Nephron-on-a-Chip" device to test drug candidates in human kidney: NEPLEX ("NEPHRON-ON-A-CHIP WITH CELLULAR AND EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX COMPLEXITY")
- Major step forward to the next generation kidney platform
Hamburg, Germany, 06 November 2017: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced a strategic collaboration on microfluidics technology including induced pluripotent stem cell ("iPSC") differentiation with leading academic institutions in the UK and Italy to accelerate the discovery of novel drugs to treat kidney diseases. The collaboration will combine key technologies from Evotec and the academic institutions to develop a novel drug discovery device ("Nephron-on-a-Chip"). It will merge state-of-the-art microfluidics technology established at the Cambridge University with world-class expertise in iPSC technology and kidney disease from the University of Bristol, the Mario Negri Institute in Bergamo and from Evotec.
The goal of the NEPLEX consortium is to develop a functional Nephron-on-a-Chip that reflects both the filtration area as well as the resorption area of a human kidney. The functional nephrons will be based on fully characterised human cell lines and iPSC-derived human kidney cells. Prof. Moin Saleem and his group from the University of Bristol will contribute human kidney cell lines focusing on the resorption unit, Dr Yan Yan Shery Huang and her lab from the University of Cambridge will develop the glomerular part of the chip, Dr Christodoulos Xinaris and his colleagues from the Mario Negri Institute will provide human iPSC lines and expertise. Evotec will add its state-of-the-art iPSC and kidney disease platforms. The device will allow testing of drug candidates in a fully human nephron already in the pre-clinic and thereby improve and accelerate drug discovery in the field of kidney diseases.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are very pleased to have teamed up with three leading academic institutions in such an exciting area of medicine. Developing fully human and functional organotypic systems for pre-clinical drug discovery with the possibility to include human genetics will be a major step towards personalised and more disease-relevant drug candidates."
No financial details were disclosed.