Emulate‘s small airway-lung chip could help researchers study viral-induced exacerbations of asthma, according to data presented this week at the American Thoracic Society’s annual meeting.
The studies were conducted as part of the company’s partnership with (NYSE:MRK). The collaborative project was designed to enable development of new anti-inflammatory treatments for patients with asthma, according to Emulate.
The companies were able to induce a pro-inflammatory response when the chip was infected with human rhinovirus – a leading cause of asthma exacerbation in children and adults. The group effectively modeled the molecular responses observed in severe asthma, showing altered infereron response and recruitment of immune cells.
Emulate also reported that neutrophils, which drive inflammatory cell infiltration to the lungs in viral-induced asthma exacerbations, can be modulated by a selective CXCR2 antagonist therapy.
“It has been a remarkable process for us to work with a leading pharmaceutical collaborator such as Merck, and our joint research has resulted in further advancing the capabilities of the Small Airway Lung-Chip,” president & chief scientific officer Geraldine Hamilton said in prepared remarks. “Our Lung-Chip has now achieved new levels of functionality to more accurately recreate human biology for airway inflammation and respiratory disease applications. We are excited to continue to apply the Small Airway Lung-Chip to potentially accelerate the discovery and development of better and safer drugs for patients with challenging inflammatory diseases of the lung, such as COPD, asthma, and respiratory infections.”
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