InSphero Closes Gap in Drug Research Against Fatty Liver

Schlieren ZH/Princeton – With PharmaNest, InSphero has found a novel method for the development of drugs against liver inflammation. The two biotech companies are combining InSphero’s 3D tissue model with PharmaNest’s digital pathology algorithm.

InSphero from Schlieren and PharmaNest from Princeton in the US state of New Jersey present a new tool for MASH drug research in a study that they call groundbreaking in a press release. MASH (metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis) is the new standard term for fatty liver disease, regardless of the cause.

The work reportedly pushes the boundaries of in vitro models in the development of MASH drugs. It reportedly fills an existing gap by developing and demonstrating a novel method for the phenotypic quantification of fibrosis occurring in MASH.

This method is based on the use of InSphero's scalable and reproducible 3D InSight MASH model. "Our tissue model allowed us to perform classical histology and combine it with PharmaNest's digital pathology algorithm to further quantify the tissue structure and extract phenotypic information," explains co-author Dr. Simon Ströbel.

"One of the key findings of our work is that secreted fibrosis biomarkers may not be sufficient to determine the anti-fibrotic potential of clinical agents in the process of MASH drug discovery." According to InSphero, the results emphasize the importance of using in vitro histological and digital pathological methods in preclinical development to avoid overlooking relevant antifibrotic effects of compounds during the drug discovery process.

InSphero is a spin-off of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and is based in the Bio-Technopark Schlieren-Zurich. ce/mm

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