CN Bio introduces PhysioMimix NASH ‘in-a-box’ reagent kit


Despite research efforts to combat the growing prevalence of NASH, to-date, there are no approved therapeutics

Bioengineering company CN Bio has introduced its PhysioMimix ‘in-a-box’ reagent kit for Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Previously only accessible via its contract research services, CN Bio’s NASH in vitro model supports the development of therapeutics to treat this condition.

Despite research efforts to combat the growing prevalence of NASH, to-date, there are no approved therapeutics owing to the inability of traditional in vivo animal experiment approaches to predict the human response to this complex disease. In conjunction with the company’s PhysioMimix MPS, the NASH-in-a-box (NIAB) kit provides researchers in-house capabilities to gain insight into the mechanism of disease, human drug efficacy and safety toxicology. The assay addresses human-relevance limitations of existing approaches, the company claims, bridging the gap between human 2D cell culture and expensive animal models, which are ineffective in mimicking the full disease spectrum. This enables NIAB kit users to generate clinically translatable and predictive data that facilitate more insightful, accurate and cost-effective drug development.

Within the NIAB kit, users are guided through a simple to follow, software-based protocol for co-culturing internally-validated primary human hepatocytes, stellate and Kupffer cells. The protocol enables the formation of 3D microtissue structures designed to emulate the microarchitecture of the human liver. By introducing fatty acids, researchers can reportedly recapitulate key NAFLD/NASH disease states: intracellular fat accumulation, inflammation and fibrosis. Once created, the company claims, the model enables the mechanistic effects of drugs (of any modality) and disease to be investigated via high content, clinically translatable end-point measurements.

Dr David Hughes, CEO, CN Bio, said: “NASH-in-a-box enables CN Bio to expand our market reach from those who prefer to outsource their testing to our laboratories, to those who would rather develop in-house capabilities. As the first in our ‘in-a-box’ range, the launch of the NASH kit represents a significant step towards the widespread adoption of Organ-on-a-chip technology within the drug discovery industry. Consequently, we believe this product will enable discovery programmes targeting this disease which is a large and growing burden on healthcare systems, yet lacks any approved therapies.”

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Dr Ovidiu Novac, Senior Scientist for CN Bio, said: “This new product demonstrates the full advantages of our microphysiological systems, providing scientists with access to easy-to-use, yet best-in-class liver models in their own labs, streamlining the process and making it far quicker and more cost effective. We believe this will allow for more thorough and accurate testing during the drug development process, which will increase the likelihood of much-needed new NASH drugs to make it to market.”