San Diego-based Organovo Holdings Inc. is partnering with Durham, N.C.-based cell culture development company ZenBio Inc. to build three-dimensional human tissues for drug discovery and advanced tissue therapies.

Organovo creates complex human tissues using proprietary 3-D printer technology that substitutes living cells for ink. The complex machinery can build out human tissues layer by layer by “printing” it based on a pre-set computer pattern. ZenBio will provide the cells.

“ZenBio is a highly respected provider of human cells, which are key inputs to our 3-D tissue models,” said Keith Murphy, chairman and CEO of Organovo in a statement. “Together, we can create new tissues and disease models that offer greater pre-clinical predictive value for drug discovery, and will fill unmet needs for medical research and surgical therapies.”

John Ludlow, ZenBio’s executive director of regenerative medicine, said an industry shift has begun toward using 3-D cell culturing platforms in laboratory research. He said the company’s commercial and academic clients are “continually seeking 3-D cell culturing products as a bridge” toward studies in animal models.

“Organovo's technology has the ability to satisfy the regulatory, academic, and commercial needs for 3-D cell culturing,” Ludlow said.

— SDBJ Staff Report