Support from NIH Crucial to AxoSim’s Development

News and Blog

Over 90% of neurological drugs that are successfully tested in animals fail once they reach human clinical trials. Therefore, there is a need for new, clinically relevant, preclinical testing models that mimic the human nervous system. At AxoSim’s inception, the support of the NIH enabled us to expand the NerveSim platform, which mimics the human peripheral nervous system.

In 2016, AxoSim was awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). This grant allowed the NerveSim platform to be used not only for academic research, but commercialized. It was used to grow the company substantially and test multiple compounds. By the conclusion of the Phase I grant, we were able to secure our first commercial customer. 

Following the Phase I grant, a STTR Phase II grant was awarded in 2017, which was used for further testing using the NerveSim™ platform and enabled the company to gain six new pharmaceutical clients. Specifically, we tested multiple chemotherapeutics’ effects on peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, AxoSim received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) to test chemical toxins on NerveSim

NIH support not only gives companies the ability to fund their research and commercialize products, but also important feedback that allows early-stage companies to better connect with their stakeholders and potential customers. AxoSim CEO Dr. Lowry Curley noted ““They [NCATS] understand, they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what industry’s looking for” in responding to translational science bottlenecks and regulatory issues. The program is “really a bridge to other organizations—partners, collaborators, customers.”

Read the entire NIH Success Story here.

Learn more about our proprietary NerveSim and BrainSim™ platforms and 2D human co-culture assays.