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The Use of Functional Human Tissues in Drug Development


David Bunton

Drug development currently depends on animal models to provide an accurate prediction of human physiology and pathophysiology. However, as is clear from clinical trial failures during phases II and III, such in vivo models do not always predict the effects that a drug can elicit in humans. Tests with human tissues, which are obviously considered to be the closest model of human in vivo function, could fill the gap between animal-based tests and trials in patients. Despite clear advantages, logistical and ethical barriers prevent fresh human tissues from being widely used during drug development. Biopta is aiming to make human tissue testing a regular element of drug development, and works to lower the barriers surrounding the availability of tissue and practicalities of experimental work.