Key Takeaways from NerveSim™ and BrainSim™: Platforms for Neurological Drug Discovery and Toxicology Screening

News and Blog

On Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AxoSim held an interactive webinar: NerveSim™ and BrainSim™: Platforms for Neurological Drug Discovery and Toxicology Screening.

Lowry Curley, PhD, and Helena Hogberg, PhD delved into the specifics of two drug discovery platforms mimicking the Peripheral and Central Nervous Systems. For those of you who could not attend this webinar, the key takeaways are discussed below. 

Lowry Curley, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of AxoSim, spoke about our latest publication (Kramer et al., ALTEX 2020) and the use of our rat NerveSim™ platform to simulate peripheral neuropathy in four common chemotherapeutics. NerveSim™ is the first biomimetic system to replicate a peripheral nerve in an in vitro setting and provides clinically relevant electrophysiological and histomorphic metrics when assessing nerve pathology. The platform can also be used for disease modeling using patient-derived iPSC lines, which allows the creation of models for ALS as well as other peripheral and motor nerve diseases.

Following Dr. Curley, Helena Hogberg, PhD, the Deputy Director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, presented data using the BrainSim™ platform. BrainSim™ myelinated organoids were developed at Johns Hopkins University and exclusively licensed by AxoSim in 2019. Dr. Hogberg also spoke about BrainSim™’s unique characteristics, which include its diversity of neurons: dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and GABAergic neurons with oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. BrainSim™ is also consistent in size and shape when reproduced. The BrainSim™ platform serves as a useful tool in research related to neurotoxicity, demyelination, and neurological disorders, such as autism, Parkinson’s and ALS. Most recently, Dr. Hogberg’s research with BrainSim™ concluded that the infectability of the platform’s neurons suggests neurotropism of SARS-Cov-2. 

The innovative platforms NerveSim™ and BrainSim™ are revolutionizing the way that biopharmaceutical companies develop neurological drugs as well as assess neurotoxicity in vitro. If you have any more questions regarding these platforms or our services, please contact us at

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™.