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Bengaluru start-up prints 3D tissue that functions like human liver

Pandorum is funded by the Department of Biotechnology and incubated at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, Bangalore Bio-Cluster

BS Reporter  |  Bengaluru 

Pandorum Tech, a Bengaluru startup becomes first to develop artificial liver tissue in India

A Bengaluru-based biotech start-up, Pandorum Technologies, has become the first Indian firm to develop artificial living tissue, which performs the function of a human liver, and can lead to affordable, full-scale transplantable organs in few a years. These 3D printed tissues, with reduced animal and human trials, would also make it possible to develop new medicines and vaccines. “This is a significant milestone,” said Tuhin Bhowmick, co-founder of Pandorum.

“Development of artificial organs has numerous clinical uses. Cell based organoids can be used to develop bio-artificial liver support systems for preserving life in patients who have developed liver failure. In the near future, such bio-printed organs will address the acute shortage of human organs available for surgical transplantation,” said Bhowmick, who holds a PhD from the Indian Institute of Science.

Another achievement is that Pandorum has been able to keep the cells alive for four weeks. Pandorum is funded by the Department of Biotechnology and incubated at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), Bangalore Bio-Cluster.

In India, thousands of lives are lost every year because of unavailability of organs. More than 75,000 livers, 200,000 kidneys and 50,000 hearts are needed in hospitals across the country. The current availability through organ donation and cadaver transplants is around 1,500 livers, 7,000 kidneys and just 50 hearts.

“Liver toxicity and drug metabolism are the key hurdles, and contributors to failed human trials. Our 3D bio-printed mini-livers that mimic the human liver will serve as test platforms for discovery and development of drugs with better efficacy, less side-effects and at lower costs,” said Arun Chandru, co-founder and managing director of Pandorum.

Pharma giants on an average spend more than $10 billion on R&D to get a single new drug to market with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The global market for in-vitro toxicity testing alone is expected to reach $4 billion by 2018. Pandorum says its technology could reduce costs of drug R&D and testing by as much as 30 per cent.

“Technologies like these can reduce the cost of drug development and testing,” said Sonal Asthana, multi-organ surgeon at Aster Integrated Liver Care.



LIVER MATTERS
  • The 3D printed tissues, with reduced animal and human trials, would also make it possible to develop new medicines and vaccines.

  • In India, thousands of lives are lost every year because of unavailability of organs.

  • Over 75,000 livers, 200,000 kidneys and 50,000 hearts are needed by the hospitals across the country.

  • The current availability through organ donation and cadaver transplants is around 1,500 livers, 7,000 kidneys and just 50 hearts

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First Published: Wed, December 23 2015. 00:44 IST
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