The Swiss company Fluosphera is developing a new in vitro method to predict the action of molecules in human organs.
Plays the communication between the organs
Fluosphere technology was envisioned in 2019 during iGEM global synthetic biology competition organized in Boston. In this event, Grégory Segala (current CEO of Fluosphera) won the silver medal with his team. His invention consists of encapsulating human tissues to reproduce communications between organs.
Each tissue or “organoid”, a true miniature copy of an organ, is assigned a color that makes it identifiable. The different capsules are thus mixed to mimic the interactions between the organs. By preserving the complexity of these exchanges, Fluosphere’s technology makes it possible to better predict the behavior of a molecule in the human body. We know, for example, that the liver transforms most drugs, which generates indirect effects that are impossible to predict with traditional in vitro methods. These indirect effects can lead to loss of efficacy or side effects, leading to the risk of drug development failure.
With Fluosphera, it is now possible to observe the direct and indirect effects of a medicine intended for an organ (heart, brain, …) as well as the secondary effects on other organs (such as kidney, liver, etc.). 🇧🇷 Fluosphere offers a fully liquid system (whereas other similar technologies “encode” organs on chips), affordable, flexible, compatible with most laboratory equipment and capable of tracking several thousand compounds.
Improve existing models
The animal test model, until then essential before a drug enters the clinical testing phase, predicts only 10% of the observed effects of a molecule in the human body. The same goes for the “classic” in vitro methods, which use only isolated tissues.
In case of changes in legislation, the technology proposed by Fluosphera would therefore considerably reduce animal experiments and improve test prediction. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration, which authorizes the marketing of drugs in the United States), seems to be in favor of the evolution of practices brought about by Fluosphera: the organization is abandoning its policy of mandatory data on animals before entering the clinical phase for commercialization of medications. The US Congress and Senate approved the measure last June and September. This should give rise to a new law implemented from 2023.
S/Titre: Concrete applications already developed
With his teams, Grégory Segala has already developed several applications based on his new generation technology. The first is a liver/heart system composed of liver and heart tissue (capable of beating in vitro!) and allows testing for the two most common types of drug toxicity. An absolutely essential application, especially when we know that cardiotoxicity is impossible to predict by the animal system.
Another implementation of Fluosphere technology consists of a set of tissues that replicate the female hormone system. It paves the way for new, more effective and less toxic hormone therapies against breast cancer and allows identifying endocrine disruptors to prevent exposure of populations to these harmful compounds.
Fluosphere is at an early stage of development and is looking to accelerate the exploration of its vast potential. The young start-up currently offers mainly services, and hopes to be able to commercialize its first products within two years. Until then, it intends to develop high-level predictive systems for the pharmaceutical industry and give visibility to its activity in order to become an important player in the discovery of state-of-the-art drugs. Fluosphere is looking for new investors aware of the enormous impact of this revolutionary innovation. In this context, the startup was recently selected for the American acceleration program IndieBio New York, considered the largest biotechnology accelerator in the world.
Content prepared and proposed by L’Agence Delta Le Figaro’s editorial team did not participate in the production of this article.