Christopher C.W. Hughes, Ph.D. – Body-on-a-Chip: The New Frontier in Drug Discovery

Christopher C.W. Hughes, Ph.D. – Body-on-a-Chip: The New Frontier in Drug Discovery

Publication date: May 14, 2019

Body-on-a-Chip: The New Frontier in Drug Discovery

Featuring

Christopher C.W. Hughes, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

University of California, Irvine

About the Lecture

Identifying effective new medicines is time-consuming and expensive. Ideally, drugs are highly specific, having great efficacy and minimal toxicity, however this is rarely the case. Current drug pipelines follow very similar trajectories: simple cell-based assays reveal promising compounds that are then tested in mice, and, if these studies are successful, lead agents progress into first-in-man studies, and finally full-scale clinical trials. Unfortunately, fewer than 1 in 7 drugs entering clinical trials make it to market. Two major problems with this pipeline can be identified: the cell-based assays are too simple, not reproducing the complexity of cells in the body; and mice are not men – mouse metabolism and drug sensitivities are often very different to our own.

Body-on-a-Chip technology aims to solve these problems. Three-dimensional -mini-organs” can be created in the lab that better model how cells behave in the body, and human cells can be used to capture human-specific responses. Numerous studies have now shown that these systems can perform better in modeling how drugs behave in people than both traditional cell-based assays and mouse testing. Moving from the lab to the clinic, we are now taking tumors from cancer patients and growing them in these platforms. Our long-term goal is to use this technology to identify the optimal combination of drugs to treat each individual patient – truly personalized medicine. Dr. Hughes is a world leader in the field of microphysiological systems (body-on-a-chip) technology and will describe how these revolutionary models are set to change how drugs are discovered, tested and prescribed.

Concepts Keywords
California Tumors
Clinical Trials Natural sciences
Combination Drugs Articles
Metabolism Health
Mice Pharmaceutical industry
Personalized Medicine Biotechnology
Pipeline Assay
Revolutionary Biochemistry
Simple Cell Organ-on-a-chip
Toxicity Clinical trial
Medication

Semantics

Type Source Name
gene UNIPROT SET
disease DOID cancer
disease MESH tumors
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
gene UNIPROT LAT2
pathway BSID Metabolism
gene UNIPROT ELL
disease MESH men
gene UNIPROT LITAF
gene UNIPROT RXFP2
gene UNIPROT STUB1

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