ProBioGen, a contract developer and manufacturer based in Berlin, designed its 3D micro-organoid model for companies to use to predict the reactions that their drugs will provoke in the human immune system.
“With the complex, in vivo-like human artificial lymph node model we have demonstrated effects which were impossible to see in conventional models, bridging the existing gap between animal models and first-in-man applications,” ProBioGen’s chief scientific officer, Volker Sandig, said in prepared remarks. “We look much forward [sic] to this collaboration and the combined expertise on either side to develop the HuALN platform even further.”
The company’s HuALN model is based on a miniaturized bioreactor designed for the long-term cultivation of immune cells – the technology can culture cells for more than 4 weeks at a time. ProBioGen has argued that as biopharmaceuticals become more “species-specific,” animal models simply aren’t enough to predict a drug’s safety and efficacy.
The artificial lymph node tech is best suited to test vaccines, proteins and peptides, immune modulators and small molecules, according to the company.
The model includes human blood-derived dendritic cells, lymphocytes and stromal cells derived from mesenchymal stem cells, which are inoculated into the bioreactor’s 3D hydrogel matrix. When stimulated, the cells organize into immune-competent, micro-organoid structures.