One of the main challenges with the drug discovery paradigm has always been the poor translational gap between inexpensive in vitro studies and significantly costly in vivo studies. Traditionally, cell culture models have been inadequate in recapitulating the complex in vivo microenvironment and thus have been limited in their ability to predict in vivo efficacy and toxicity. While no model is perfect, in vivo animal studies do not well-translate to results obtained in human clinical trials, particularly with regard to toxicology . Furthermore, there has been increasing pressure from regulatory bodies, especially in the EU, to reduce, refine, and replace animal experiments whenever possible.
To address these problems, researchers have begun to adopt more advanced 3D cell culture models (e.g. organoids, microtissues, spheroids) which better mimic not only the in vivo microenvironment but also gene expression and functional characteristics of tissues in vivo. Since human cell lines and primary cells can be utilized in these constructs, they provide a method for improving in vitro studies used in drug discovery and development. As a leading provider of advanced drug discovery solutions, Visikol has considerable expertise in the generation and analysis of 3D cell culture models.