Recent study shows AxoSim’s ability to recapitulate results for a client in drug-induced peripheral neuropathy

AxoSim was hired by one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to test a drug which was observed to cause peripheral neuropathy (PN) in animal studies. However, other assays this company used were unable to reproduce PN and as a result they were unsure about whether to move forward into IND-enabling studies. Performing further in vivo animal model studies would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and have taken a significant amount of time. 

AxoSim’s Nerve-on-a-Chip® technology is the first in vitro model with the demonstrated capability to measure critical factors that were formerly only available using live, in vivo models. The Nerve-on-a-Chip® platform provides clinically relevant physiological readouts, including nerve conduction velocity and myelination of Schwann cells. These factors made our technology the ideal choice for this pharmaceutical company to contract AxoSim to perform predictive, accurate PN assays. 

For this experiment, AxoSim’s team was blinded to three different test articles and dosed rat primary dorsal root ganglion Nerve-on-a-Chip® constructs for 1,2, and 4 weeks. In one of the test articles, PN was observed at 2 and 4 weeks. Additionally, a statistically significant dose response curve was observed in this test article. Later, the AxoSim team learned that PN was only observed in the in vivo animal models at 4 weeks. AxoSim’s Nerve-on-a-Chip® PN assay was the only in vitro model which showed this drug’s neurotoxic effects. As a result of this study, the pharmaceutical company discontinued their drug development program. Ultimately, these results saved the company a significant amount of time and funds. This is an example of how we are helping pharmaceutical companies to FAIL FAST.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, AxoSim remains open for business. We help companies develop drugs faster and reduce costs with models that mimic the human nervous system in several species in an in vitro setting. Contact us at or schedule a free 15-minute call to learn more about our unique 3D nerve model–our Nerve-on-a-Chip® platform including our PN assays, or our Mini-Brain, which mimics key aspects of the human brain. You can also follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.