It May Not Look Like a Lung, But Human Bioemulation is a Reality

A company called Emulate, Inc. is looking to reduce reliance on animal testing by developing its ‘Organs on Chips’ platform. The company is launching with a $12 million Series A financing to commercialize its first-of-a-kind platform that mimics human physiology and diseases. The system  permits real-time elucidation of molecular mechanisms of action and toxicity, theoretically obsoleting tests that are performed on animal models today.

Background

Emulate’s proprietary Organs-on-Chips platform achieves a new industry standard by predicting human responses to medicines, chemicals, and toxins more rapidly and with claims of greater fidelity than animal models. The company’s mission is to commercialize its Organs-on-Chips bioemulation products, automated platform and software to enhance innovation and accelerate the development of pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, and personalized medicine products.

Emulate will use the proceeds from the financing to advance the first commercial applications of its automated Organs-on-Chips platform through co-innovation with corporate and clinical clients, and through internal development programs. The company’s initial focus will be use of Organs-on-Chips to provide more rapid and accurate evaluation of human responses to drugs and cosmetics, and to create new clinical guidance tools for personalized therapies.

The Human Organs-on-Chips platform comprises miniaturized devices created with microchip manufacturing that contain tiny hollow channels lined by living human cells and tissues cultured under continuous fluid flow and mechanical forcing regimens, such as cyclic breathing and peristalsis. These constructs are said to effectively recapitulate organ-level physiology and disease responses.Different Organs-on-Chips, such as lung, liver, intestine, kidney, skin, eye, and blood-brain-barrier, can be linked together by flowing liquid containing living human immune cells that simulates blood to form a “Human-Body-on-Chips” to more closely replicate whole body-level responses.

Emulate has a worldwide license to a robust and broad intellectual property portfolio for its bioemulation Organs-on-Chips platform from Harvard University, and is uniquely positioned to advance the technology into successful commercial applications, supported by multiple years of vigorous research and development by its experienced team of scientists and engineers.

Company comments

“Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips platform provides, for the first time, a window into the inner-workings of human organs without having to invade a living body,” said James Coon, Chief Executive Officer of Emulate. “Our unique automated Organs-on-Chips approach to human bioemulation opens up entirely new possibilities to develop products with enhanced properties, improved efficacy and safety, and personalization to patients and consumers. The company will focus on key strengths of integrating design, biology and engineering to create revolutionary products. We are launching Emulate to be a leader in advancing innovative product design across multiple industries including drug development, healthcare, agriculture and consumer health.”

“Emulate’s platform has significant potential to advance human health today, not only to better design and evaluate new breakthrough medicines, but also to drive more personalized diagnosis and treatment approaches,” said Shlomo Melmed, M.D., Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Medical Faculty at Cedars-Sinai. “Our vision is we can one day put each patient’s cells on chips that mimic the function of organs, and this will open up new ways for us to design truly personalized treatment with stem cells, based on each patient’s unique genetic profile on their own individualized Organs-on-Chips.”

“This advanced technology is the beginning of a revolution in the way we study human biology and disease, as Emulate sets a new standard for products to be aligned with a complete picture of human biology,” said Geraldine A. Hamilton, Ph.D. “Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips allow living human cells to interact with other cell types within the authentic physical context of living tissues and organs as they would normally in the human body. This ability to bioemulate the human organ microenvironment through microengineering – combined with automated instrumentation that permits molecular scale analysis in real-time – allows us to replicate, analyze and predict human responses in a truly unique and powerful way.”

Source: Emulate, Inc., Business Wire

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