CollPlant (NASDAQ: CLGN), a regenerative and aesthetic medicine company developing innovative human collagen-based technologies and products, together with Ramot, the Technology Transfer Company of Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center, a hospital ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of the Top 10 world best hospitals for the 4th consecutive year (2019-2022), today announced entering into a license and research agreement to co-develop a ‘Gut-on-a-Chip‘ tissue model for drug discovery and high throughput screening of drugs. The model is intended to be used in personal medicine applications for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease affecting millions of individuals worldwide. The in-vitro intestine-on-chip platform combines CollPlant’s human recombinant collagen (rhCollagen) with other proprietary biomaterials and human cells. Designed to emulate the human intestine tissue, the 3D bioprinted model will allow medical professionals to identify drug targets and personalized therapeutic responses that can lead to improved patient outcomes.
The collaboration draws upon CollPlant’s expertise in high precision 3D bioprinting and collagen-based bioinks for scalable and reproducible biofabrication of human tissues, with Tel Aviv University’s ‘smart‘Organ-on-a-Chip platform and Sheba Medical Center’s capabilities in advanced treatment screening. The co-development is led by Dr. Ben Maoz from Tel Aviv University, who completed his post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Prof. Don Ingber and Prof. Kit Parker at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, Dr. Yael Habermanfrom the Pediatric Gastroenterology unit of Sheba Medical Center, and CollPlant’s team of scientists and engineers. Under the terms of the agreement, CollPlant will fund the development of the intestine model and receive an exclusive manufacturing and commercial license and Tel Aviv University and Sheba will receive sales royalties from CollPlant.
“We are excited to embark on this important collaboration with Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center for what will represent CollPlant’s strategic expansion into personalized medicine. These acclaimed institutes are ideal partners to accelerate the development of representative models of the human intestine,” said Yehiel Tal, CollPlant’s Chief Executive Officer. “Current models of inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis do not accurately mimic the intestine tissue structure with the induced disease, and consequently have limited applicability in predicting therapeutic response. We believe the 3D bioprinted human intestine chip has the potential to accelerate new drug development, reduce costs, support development of personalized, highly effective treatments for ulcerative colitis and significantly reduce or eliminate the need for animal testing.”
Keren Primor Cohen, the CEO of Ramot at The Tel Aviv University, stated: “I am highly looking forward to our collaboration with CollPlant and Sheba Medical Center, and we are very proud of the innovative technology of Dr. Ben Maoz and his research team. This reusable, modular organ-on-a-chip platform allows co-culturing and overcomes scientific data collection and imaging challenges posed by other in-market alternatives, that pushes the industry another step forward in the direction of personalized treatment”.
Dr. Yael Haberman (MD, PhD) at Sheba Medical Center, stated: “I am very much looking forward to our collaboration with CollPlant and Tel Aviv University, where we aim to generate a complex model system that will mimic gut epithelial barrier functions and will enable preclinical testing and screening of different interventions.”
Ulcerative colitis is characterized by chronic inflammation and a relapsing and remitting clinical course that requires lifelong treatment. Patients respond differently or fail to respond to therapies, resulting in exposure of patients to unjustified drugs and delay of the institution of effective treatment.
Published November 15, 2022 PR Newswire