CollPlant, Tel Aviv University, and Sheba Join Forces to Personalize Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
CollPlant, a regenerative and aesthetic medicine company developing innovative human collagen-based technologies and products, together with Sheba and Ramot, the Technology Transfer Company of Tel Aviv University, announced entering into a license and research agreement to co-develop a ‘gut-on-a-chip’ tissue model (in vitro microfluidic system devices used for studying the intestine) for drug discovery and high capacity screening of drugs.
A ‘gut-on-chip’ allows the engineering of an artificial gut containing various human cell types with a controlled biochemical microenvironment. The in-vitro ‘gut-on-chip’ platform combines CollPlant’s human recombinant collagen (rhCollagen) with other proprietary biomaterials and human cells. Designed to simulate the human intestine tissue, the 3D bioprinted model will allow medical professionals to identify drug targets and individual therapeutic responses, leading to improved patient outcomes.
The model is intended to be used in personalized medicine applications for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease affecting millions of individuals worldwide.
Ulcerative colitis is characterized by chronic inflammation as well as a relapsing and remitting clinical course that requires lifelong treatment. Patients respond differently or fail to respond to therapies, resulting in exposure to unnecessary drugs and delay in instituting effective treatment.
The collaboration draws upon CollPlant’s expertise in high-precision 3D bioprinting and collagen-based bio-inks for scalable and reproducible bio-fabrication of human tissues, with Tel Aviv University’s ‘smart’ ‘organ-on-a-chip’ platform and Sheba’s expertise in advanced screening. The co-development is led by Dr. Ben Maoz from Tel Aviv University, Dr. Yael Haberman from Sheba’s Pediatric Gastroenterology unit, and CollPlant’s team of scientists and engineers.
“We are excited to embark on this important collaboration with Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center,” remarked Mr. Yehiel Tal, CollPlant’s Chief Executive Officer. “These acclaimed institutions are ideal partners to accelerate the development of representative models of the human intestine. 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 bio-printed 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.”
On her part, Sheba’s Dr. Yael Haberman noted: “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.”
According to Keren Primor Cohen, CEO of Ramot at Tel Aviv University, “The reusable, modular ‘organ-on-a-chip’ platform overcomes scientific data collection and imaging challenges posed by other in-market alternatives, pushing the industry another step forward in the direction of personalized treatment.”
As a leading global healthcare organization, at Sheba, we see it as our duty to promote breakthroughs in personalized medicine, thereby elevating healthcare standards worldwide. This latest collaboration is yet another step towards that goal.