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Visikol, a leader in phenotypic drug discovery and advanced imaging services will be giving a presentation this week with other biotechnology leaders on how 3D cell culture models and high-throughput 3D imaging can be used to accelerate the drug discovery process.
This Thursday (March 1, 2018), Visikol CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Michael Johnson will be presenting at the Abcam Biomarker Platforms and Biomarkers in Immuno-Oncology Conference at the Merck Auditorium in Boston (33 Avenue Louis Pasteur). This event is focused on highlighting emerging discoveries in biomarkers, an in depth observation of immune activity and pathways and an overview of advanced screening platforms and research tools such as Girija Goyal (Wyss Institute) discussing an organ-on-chip model of human tertiary lymphoid follicles.
Dr. Johnson explained that “as a company we have always focused on biological questions that benefit from a third-dimension and multiplexing of markers. We see the immuno-oncology space as a specific area in which the three-dimensional imaging tools we have developed add significant value as we can completely understand and characterize the complex processes associated with using the body’s own immune system to fight disease.”
Visikol initially began as a company focused on developing tools for the three-dimensional imaging of tissues and has morphed over the last two years into a drug discovery contract research organization that leverages these cutting-edge tools to assist pharmaceutical companies with accelerating their drug discovery pipelines. While Visikol offers a range of services that leverage its expertise in tissue imaging, automation, image analysis and data mining, the core focus of the company is on advanced 3D in vitro drug discovery assays.
The reason for this focus is that while 3D in vitro models provide increased in vivo relevancy compared with 2D models and are being rapidly adopted, currently the characterization of these models is highly limited. Dr. Johnson explains, “just a few years ago we saw that the 3D in vitro market was a place where we could have a significant impact as our technologies allow for the complete and rapid characterization of the tumor microenvironment within these complex 3D systems.”
Visikol Director of In Vitro Services, Dr. Erin Edwards describes these assay services as being truly differentiated:
“While there are many companies offering 2D and 3D in vitro assays, what makes us different is that we have developed a high-throughput workflow that leverages our patented Visikol® HISTO-M™ tissue clearing technique to acquire all of the data from 3D cell culture models. This means that we acquire 3-4 times more data than conventional high-throughput assays and that we are able to answer more complex questions such as quantifying CAR-T efficacy or antibody penetration kinetics.”
In this talk, Dr. Johnson will discuss how pharmaceutical companies are using advanced 3D cell culture models to close the translational gap between in vitro and in vivo results. Additionally, Dr. Johnson will discuss the short-comings of these models and the opportunities to improve their utility in the drug discovery process.
Visikol is focused on accelerating drug discovery through quantitative histopathology and using their patented Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing technology to transform tissues into three dimensional data sets that can be mined for actionable insights. When paired with fluorescent labeling and 3D microscopy, Visikol® HISTO™ allows tissues such as 3D cell culture models or whole tissues to be imaged in their entirety in 3D. Visikol has leveraged this technology to launch 3Screen™ which is a high-throughput 3D imaging platform capable of transforming tissues into 3D data sets and answering complex biological questions. The addition of 3D histological information to the drug discovery workflow allows for complex features such as vasculature networks to be quantitatively analyzed in 3D or for the penetration kinetics of antibodies into tumor models to be understood. The company currently offers 3Screen™ as a service to pharmaceutical/biotech companies and is continually focused on improving the platform as well as building out a suite of standardized assays. In addition to this service offering, Visikol also sells various tissue clearing reagents and kits for academic researchers that are interested in adopting the approach into their own workflows. For more information about Visikol or 3Screen™, please visit our website at visikol.com.
For additional assistance, journalists, investors and analysts may contact:
Dr. Michael Johnson
CEO and Co-Founder