AvantiCell Science is a life science company based in Ayr, with a mission to provide leading-edge ethical tools which offer the prospect of faster, more efficient progress towards better drugs, safer chemotherapy, and improved healthcare.

An important preclinical test of drug safety is to evaluate their effect on the liver, and drug-induced liver injury (DILI) remains a major health concern. It contributes to over 50% of acute liver failure and is the leading cause of drug removal from the market. DILI occurs when the toxic properties of medicines damage the cells of the liver, resulting in their reduced function and ultimately their death. Individual liver cell death can lead to a cascade of clinical symptoms, from fatigue and abdominal pain to jaundice. The incidence of DILI could be lowered with more effective preclinical testing of medicines to monitor their toxic effects.

Existing methods for preclinical testing have, of course, served their purpose (otherwise we wouldn’t have the life-saving drugs that we have!) but with more than 90% of potential drugs failing clinical trials due to inadequate safety and efficacy responses, there is a responsibility within the scientific life science community to make improvements, which is where AvantiCell Science’s exclusive organoid technology comes in.

“Organoids” are miniaturized and simplified organs, grown in three-dimension in the lab, to study disease and therapeutics. AvantiCell’s Human Hepatic Organoids are derived from human adult stem cells of the liver, using donated tissue from liver biopsies as an ethical alternative to animal use. When grown under the right conditions, these cells mimic how they would behave in the body, giving more relevant responses to drugs, which then allows more informed selection of drug candidates for clinical testing, and a lower likelihood that the candidate will fail after enormous financial investment.

From early-stage discovery to late-stage quality control of production, and even in basic academic research, AvantiCell’s Human Hepatic Organoids can be valuable, and their use could prevent an immense amount of money being wasted every year on inefficient or unsuccessful drug development.

For more information on AvantiCell Science and their expertise in primary cells and cell-based assays, please visit www.avanticell.com, call 01292 521 060 or email