Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the pharma sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising organ-on-a-chip startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Organ-on-a-Chip Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally, we looked at innovation in the field of pharma. For this research, we identified 58 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies are chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & scaleups developing innovative organ-on-a-chip solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 58 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Tissue Dynamics – Drug Screening
Organ-on-a-chip systems are microfluidic cell cultures that mimic the activity, mechanics, and physiological response of an organ or organ system. Startups are working on these systems intending to replace animal testing in drug development. Moreover, since these systems use human cells, the pharmacokinetic (PK) response is expected to be more similar to results in human patients than from animal models.
Israeli startup Tissue Dynamics offers drug toxicity and efficacy screening solutions. The startup uses an ethnically diverse library of proliferating hepatocyte lines to produce organs-on-chips. These solutions reduce research and development (R&D) costs and increase the safety and efficacy of drug screening. In addition to serving the pharma industry, Tissue Dynamics also serves the nutraceutical and cosmetic industries.
Altis Biosystems – Stem Cell Platform
Advances in stem cell technology allow researchers to biofabricate entire tissues or organs on a scaffold. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), in particular, are paving the way for autologous cell-based therapies as a treatment for a range of degenerative diseases. Unlike traditional cell culture, organs-on-chips recreate the three-dimensional (3D) morphology and environment of actual organs. This improves the disease modeling process and leads to safer and more efficacious drugs.
The US-based startup Altis Biosystems builds a stem cell platform to recreate the human intestinal epithelium. RepliGut is an organ-on-a-chip system that contains stem and differentiated cells in a patent-pending biomimetic scaffold. The solution allows customization for the regional specificity of the small intestine and colon from multiple donors. Moreover, the platform finds applications in compound screening, clinical drug investigation, and microbiome research.
Bi/ond – Organoids
Organoids are miniaturized versions of organs that usually self-organize in vitro from patient-derived cells. Incorporating crucial tissues of an organ in a simple, yet realistic model offers a platform for visual and chemical inspection of changes in organs when subjected to different treatments. Startups are exploring organoid-on-a-chip solutions to improve disease models and offer personalized medicine.
Dutch startup Bi/ond develops customizable organ-on-a-chip solutions for in vitro assays. inCHIPit comprises an open well where tissues reside, a porous membrane, and a bottom compartment for microchannels carrying oxygen and nutrients. The solution enables the testing of cultures of organoid tissues that are amenable longitudinal using microscope-compatible devices. Further, the solution allows testing for morphology, viability, drug response, and protein expression analysis.
Netri – Brain-on-a-Chip
While the brain is one of the most crucial organs in human bodies, pharma startups have largely shied away from research in neuroscience. The reasons for this include the humongous complexity of the brain, lack of methods to make interventions, and the blood-brain barrier. Now, brain-on-a-chip solutions allow pharma startups a manipulable way to investigate the effect of drugs on the brain.
French startup Netri creates brain-on-a-chip solutions for applications in neuroscience. Neurofluidics, the startup’s microfluidics-based system, reconstructs the structural and functional network of the brain in vitro. This system offers custom turnkey solutions that feature a multi-compartment architecture and a controlled microenvironment. This helps pharma companies model neurodegenerative diseases for drug discovery.
Hesperos – Multi-Organ-on-Chip (MOC)
Many diseases, including lupus and COVID-19, often affect multiple organ systems. This necessitates models that feature multiple organs to better understand disease progression. Multi-organ-on-Chip solutions integrate microfluidics with mathematical PK and pharmacodynamic (PD) modeling to better emulate interconnected physiological responses.
The US-based startup Hesperos offers multi-organ-on-chip solutions for the pharma sector. Hesperos combines a serum-free cell medium and a gravity-flow system to create systemic toxicology models with multiple interconnected organs. Besides, their solutions include two to four organs in a system, including heart, liver, neuromuscular junction, skeletal muscle, neuron, and cancer models.
What About The Other 53 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence that enables you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 organ-on-a-chip startups showcased above are promising examples out of 58 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.