The adult human body contains stem cells in all of its organs which are capable of maintaining homeostasis and repair during a human life. Although these stem cells harbour tremendous regenerative potential in has been difficult to harness this capacity in in vitro culture systems.
We have developed 3D culture systems of defined growth factors and extra cellular matrix conditions, which allow for the in vitro culturing and expansion of the epithelial stem cells of a variety of organs. Importantly, after prolonged culturing the cells maintain their original in vivo phenotypic characteristics and are genetically stable.
In addition to their potential for regenerative medicine, this technology allows us to create patient specific in vitro drug development tools from many diseases. One of the major challenges for the pharmaceutical industry is the development of novel therapeutics. Over the last decades thousands of compounds have been developed, but only very few have made it to a successful clinical application. On top of this, novel medication that does reach the clinic is often only effective for a subset of patients. A fundamental obstacle to the development of effective medication and identifying the responsive patient subgroup is the lack of suitable pre-clinical model systems. Generally either cell lines or animal models are used, both of which poorly represent human physiology and genetics of human disease.
The Agamyxis stem cell platform makes use of the 3D organoid culture method to generate patient and/or disease specific in vitro model for drug screening, drug development, and patient stratification.