Pimbio works with academic and industry partners to collaboratively develop devices and in vitro models which have unique applications for disease modelling, testing, drug discovery and development. A collaborative relationship allows an exchange of expertise which benefits all parties and ultimately will have positive impacts on human health.
€0,5M for iPSC-based NMJ-on-a-chip model
Approximately 200.000 Dutch patients suffer from neuromuscular disorders (NMDs). Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are highly specialized structures that enable motor neurons to communicate with muscle fibers to establish muscle contraction. NMJ pathophysiology underlies muscle dysfunction in a range of NMDs such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The recent development of advanced therapies has been hampered by the lack of a robust NMJ model. PimBio is proud to announce that our NOACH (NMJ-On-A-CHip) consortium under the supervision of Dr. Maartje Huijbers has received a LUMC PPS-Match call Topsector LSH 2021 funding for the development of a patient-derived iPSC-based NMJs-on-a-chip model to study NMJ (patho)physiology by combining functional parameters with a relevant human genetic background. The NMJ-on-a-chip model will enable technology relevant for academic groups (basic research on disease mechanism, translational research) and for the industry (drug testing on human, patient-derived cells, personalized medicine, facilitation of FDA approval, phase IV trial in demonstrating effect of approved drugs). This project, supported by Stichting Proefdiervrij, will bridge the gap between 2D cell culture and animal models offering innovative and sustainable solutions with 3Rs potential to improve people’s lives.
€1,3M funding to CONNECT the Blood-Brain Barrier to Cerebral Organoids
The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Today, it remains a challenge to effectively treat patients suffering from a brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke. A brain disorder has a huge impact on patients, their caretakers, and society but effective drugs remain an unmet clinical need. This is partly because such drugs need to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), which protects the brain from unwanted compounds also hampering the delivery of therapeutics into the brain. Available animal models do not fully reflect disease conditions as seen in patients, making drug discovery a challenge and creating a need for models that predict all aspects of the route and effects of a drug upon administration. Furthermore, the search for effective drugs is hampered by the lack of predictive validity of mouse models for human patients. So, there is an urgent need for novel model systems that mimic human brain complexity to test delivery and efficacy of potential compounds to cure brain diseases. To enable the development of such BBB model, prof. dr. Elly Hol (UMC Utrecht Brain Center) and prof. dr. Elga de Vries (Amsterdam UMC) formed a multidisciplinary public-private CONNECT consortium which received a grant (18957) from the Dutch NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES), the Association of Collaborating Health Foundations (SGF), ZonMw and Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH; Health~Holland). Under the grant, PimBio will collaborate with UMC Utrecht Brain Center, Amsterdam UMC, Hersenstichting, Proefdiervrij, Danone Nutricia Research, BG.legal, InnoSer Nederland BV and Eyesiu Medicines BV. We will differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into a functional BBB to CONNECT this with mini-brains taking the first steps in such model development. Pimbio will develop a novel microfluidic device for this unique approach to build such a complex 3D BBB model mimicking all aspects of the human brain to enable testing and selection of effective compounds for currently incurable neurological diseases. This innovative approach will lead to a human measurement model that is closer to the patient than the current animal and 2D cell models.
Pimbio partner in €3.16M EU Interreg project TTD
Cardiovascular diseases come with major personal and societal implications. Within the Interreg Flanders- The Netherlands project Trans Tech Diagnostics (TTD) this Interreg public-private consortium of Maastricht University (CARIM, lead partner), University Hasselt (BIOMED), VITO and TSG Innoteq focuses on the development of innovative diagnostic alternatives that allow for better assessment of risks to develop cardiovascular diseases.
Main goal of our TTD research and development project is creating innovative options for better cardiovascular diagnostics, increasing the individual quality of life, especially for elderly. Furthermore, TTD provides an open innovation network for public-private collaboration to create the cardiovascular health solutions for the future. Pimbio has been invited by TTD consortium to participate in ‘SME industrial research’ of TTD subproject WP4D1: Support of the industrial research of TTD and / or realization of the intended demonstrator. On the basis of the complementarity in expertise, technological objectives and options for (more) future cooperation, Pimbio provides good opportunities for cooperation in which all partners can benefit from the cooperation.
Trans Tech Diagnostics is an Interreg V project of the border region Flanders – the Netherlands and receives financial support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, €1,580,000), regional governments and TTD partners (€1,580,000; total project budget €3,160,000).
€10K Value Voucher for Pimbio
Pimbio is developing a unique microfluidic technology to improve both research and diagnostics in cancer. The organ-on-a-chip technology that is used is not yet available as a user-friendly plug-and-play system. PimBio is now developing a system with microfluidic chips, based on concrete market demand.
In order to take the next steps in the development of this technology, Pimbio collaborates with CytoSmart to validate the system in an operational (lab) environment. This process has been successfully completed, opening doors to new sources of finance and to (inter) national success. Value Voucher €10K from Value Centre made the collaboration between Pimbio and CytoSmart possible.
The consortium is made up of two Universities of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Utrecht and Fontys Hogescholen),
The Hubrecht Organoid Technology foundation, Utrecht University, Wageningen University Research Centre, TNO, the public-private partnership Immuno Valley and other partners for the development and implementation of two innovative intestinal in vitro models incl. ‘gut-on-a-chip’ model. These models, that are derived from fundamental research can play an important role in the safety and efficacy evaluation of food ingredients. The study aims to further develop, optimize and implement the culture models to increase the biological relevance and coincidentally increase applicability of the models, contributing to the adoption of the systems by industry. With the development and especially the implantation of these in vitro models the researchers hope to be able to contribute to the reduction of the use of animals in the safety evaluation of food additives and ingredients. The project is designated with the acronym ‘2REAL-GUTS’.
Microfluidic 3D Cell Culture
Direct visualisation of basolateral cell-to-cell or cell-surface interactions is extremely important for disease modelling, safety evaluation, drug discovery and development. However, in vitro devices designed and produces for direct observation of cellular basolateral interactions are still not available for scientific and industrial community. Therefore there is an urgent need to develop a technology for production of physiologically relevant in vitro devices. Pimbio and Axxicon Moulds Eindhoven B.V. collaboratively develop a novel specific technology and know-how for production of microfluidic consumables for in vitro reconstruction and direct visualisation of cellular basolateral interactions.