On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, at 11:10 am ET, AxoSim’s Chief Science Officer, Michael J. Moore, PhD, will be presenting at The National Academy of Science’s Workshop: Microphysiological Systems: Bridging Human and Animal Research. His presentation is titled: Addressing the Opioid Crisis: A Microphysiological Model of Synaptic Transmission of Pain. You can register for the full workshop here.

Microphysiological systems (MPS) are in vitro platforms (such as tissues/organs on chips) that mimic the biochemical, electrical, and mechanical properties of organ or tissue function. Human MPS are being used to advance understanding of the mechanisms of disease and risk assessments for candidate therapeutics.  Similar work with animal MPS has the potential to reduce the use of whole animal studies in research and drug development, but much work is needed to bridge the gap from current available human MPS.  The workshop overall will explore the need for and use of MPS across a range of animal species/strains, including gene-edited animals, and for optimizing animal model selection where whole animal models are necessary. 

In the U.S., over 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and lack safe and effective alternatives to opioids to manage this pain. In 2019, Dr. Moore and his team at Tulane University received a $1.2 million grant from the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long Term (HEAL) Initiative. This project originally grew from a supplemental grant awarded to AxoSim to expand on the existing NerveSim™ platform in order to conceptualize an assay which mimics synaptic transmission in the spinal cord. This microphysiological system uses engineered peripheral nerve and spinal cord tissue to recapitulate critical aspects of in vivo physiology and cytoarchitecture. Ultimately, this model will provide a viable alternative to behavioral testing in animals for early-stage investigation of pain-modulating compounds at a lower cost with higher throughput. A corresponding human model, using iPSC- derived neurons is also in development. 

AxoSim is a Neurodiscovery CRO that empowers advancements in human neuroscience and accelerates the drug development process through our drug discovery platforms: NerveSim™ and BrainSim™ as well as our SimLab Services. If you would like to learn more about these platforms and our assays, please contact us at bd@axosim.com or schedule a meeting with our team.