NCATS to Support Tissue Chip for Drug Screening Testing Centers

On Oct. 13, 2016, NCATS announced approximately $6 million in new awards for fiscal year 2016 to establish three testing centers for the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program. The goals of the Tissue Chip Testing Centers (TCTCs) include:

  • Providing the means for scientists funded by NCATS’ tissue chip program to test and validate tissue chip platforms independently;
  • Promoting adoption of this technology by the broad research community, such as pharmaceutical partners and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and
  • Ensuring wide-ranging availability of tissue chip technology.

NCATS issued awards through its Cures Acceleration Network to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University who will be conducting the independent validation of the tissue chip platforms, and to the University of Pittsburgh to set up the tissue chip database for each organ platform. View project details.

A tissue chip on a plate

Kidney-on-a-chip. (University of Washington Photo)

Over the past four years, NCATS and its Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program collaborators — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the FDA — supported the development of human tissue chips that accurately model the structure and function of human organs, such as the lung, liver and heart, to help predict drug safety in humans more rapidly.

NCATS-funded TCTC scientists will use a reference set of validation compounds vetted by pharmaceutical representatives through an NCATS partnership with the IQ Consortium and the FDA, and will run tests to determine functionality, reproducibility, robustness and reliability in these organ platforms.

In addition, TCTC staff will work directly with the Tissue Chip Consortium, which includes tissue chip technology developers, government officials and industry representatives, to test tissue chip devices; acquire, store and use standard tissue chip resources; test compounds for device validation; and share the data and methodologies with the consortium.

In collaboration with stakeholders and regulatory agencies, organ chip testing will determine whether the technology can be used as a better predictive model for assessing safety and efficacy of promising therapies than current cell and animal models.

Learn more about the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program.


Posted October 2016