Technology Review: Liver Models Go to Market

Technology Review: Liver Models Go to Market:
'Only one of every ten compounds tested by pharmaceutical companies becomes a product, says Shuler, and half of the failures are due to toxicity.'

(There's the bottleneck which cheminformatics has not been able to widen.)

'"The liver is a complex organ that has many different cell types," says Tannenbaum. These cells exchange chemical signals and even exert mechanical forces on each other that help maintain their function...'

'"In order to get any functionality [in a model], you have to have multiple cell types organized into a structure like a liver," he says. When cells are taken out of the liver and cultured using traditional means, their gene-expression profiles change very quickly, and they begin to deteriorate in a few days.'
'For four to six weeks, [Hepregen's] cells maintain gene-expression profiles comparable to those of liver cells in the human body; they continue to produce the enzymes that break down and modify drugs; and they even form functioning bile ducts, important transport systems in the liver.'

MIT's News Office has a similar article.