The specialty pharmaceutical research company’s new retinal vascular dysfunction model can have an impact on the research and development of new drugs for retinal vascular diseases.
Humonix Biosciences Inc has developed a new 3D human tissue model, called the retinal vascular dysfunction model.
According to a company news release, Humonix’s new model is a physiologically relevant 3D model of the blood-retinal barrier. The company noted its model expresses key physiological and biological characteristics, offering researchers a platform for testing therapies related to retinal vascular dysfunction.
The company noted that its model relies upon 2 cell types, while many current in vitro models use just a single cell type, thereby missing important determinants of barrier function. Its retinal vascular dysfunction model can recapitulate dysfunction that is specific to an organ, and therefore be applied to diseases such as macular edema and diabetic retinopathy.
Moreover, the company noted in its news release the novel model can boost the drug development process and speed the progress of life-changing therapies for patients diagnosed with retinal vascular diseases.
Karen Torrejon, PhD, chief scientific officer of Humonix, noted in the news release that during discussions with key opinion leaders and drug developers, the company saw a trend that in vitro models and, to a certain extent, animal models are not good at narrowing down the best clinical candidates.
“The significant lack of models of the blood-retinal barrier that incorporate human retinal cells and mimic the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema hampers the chances of identifying high-potential candidates to move forward in the drug development pipeline,” she said in a statement. “We at Humonix are proud to have engineered a 3D human tissue model of the blood-retinal barrier that can accelerate the development of new and improved therapies."
Patricia A D’Amore, PhD, MBA, associate chief for Basic and Translational Research, Mass Eye and Ear and Humonix Scientific Advisor, said the model could shift the paradigm in research.
“A reproducible and approachable model of the blood-retinal barrier needs to be more complex than a monolayer of cells,” she said in the news release, “Interactions between endothelial cells and pericytes are central to the development and maintenance of barrier function, a fact well recapitulated in the Humonix model.”