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United Kingdom : New global group to enhance discovery of drugs for kidney diseases.

In order to enhance the discovery of drugs to treat kidney diseases, a new global group, including academic institutions like the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge and drugmaker Evotec, has been formed.

The NEPLEX (nephron on a chip with cellular and extracellular matrix complexity) group will develop and build a novel drug discovery device called Nephron-on-a-Chip, by aggregating critical technologies.

The group plans to develop a functional nephron on a chip device reflecting both the filtration area and the resorption area of a human kidney.

Nephron is the kidney's basic structural and functional unit.

The functional nephrons will be based on 100% defined human cell lines and iPSC-derived human cells.

It will integrate an advanced microfluidics technology developed at the University of Cambridge with iPSC technology and kidney disease from the University of Bristol, the Mario Negri Institute in Bergamo and Evotec.

While Dr Yan Yan Shery Huan and her lab from the University of Cambridge will develop the glomerular part of the chip, University of Bristols professor Moin Saleem and his group will provide human kidney cell lines focusing on the resorption unit.

Mario Negri Institutes Christodoulos Xinaris and his team will provide human iPSC lines and expertise needed for the device.

Evotec will offer advanced iPSC and kidney disease platforms. The device will allow testing of drug candidates in a fully human nephron a already in the pre-clinic, helping to improve and enhance drug discovery in the field of kidney diseases.

Evotec chief scientific officer Cord Dohrmann stated: "We are very pleased to have teamed up with three leading academic institutions in such exciting area of medicine.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 9, 2017
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