Antiviral drug screening using human organoids

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for efficacious antiviral treatments. However, for one antiviral to be approved, on average, $2.8 billion is required. These high costs are due to the use of cell lines and animal models in antiviral pre-clinical testing resulting in a poor translation to humans with a failure of 95% of clinical trials. By exploiting human organoids, VEO enhances the predictive value of antiviral testing over the current pre-clinical models. The success of our service relies on our know-how in infecting human organoids. Moreover, our unique position as a spin-off from Amsterdam UMC allows us to have access to patient material to obtain circulating viruses. Our expertise is built on a solid knowledge of clinically relevant human viruses and human organoid technology.

Our current portfolio consists of human airway, gut, and brain organoids and a wide collection of patient-derived viruses that can successfully infect our models. VEO is going further by developing other human-based organoid models such as the human blood-brain barrier relevant for antiviral testing in the context of drug delivery. Our key competence in obtaining infection in organoid models is what distinguishes us from any potential competitors. Our team, as part of OrganoVIR Labs, has spent millions over the last ten years to reach this level of expertise.

We will launch our first service in the airway model in 2026, followed by the intestine in the following year, and the brain in 2029. In order to make our service available to our clients, we need an initial investment of €2 million to establish laboratory facilities, standardize the operational pipeline for our human models, implement quality control protocols, and run a beta test. We will break even in 2029 reaching €10 million in revenue in 2030.

Giulia Moreni
Adithya Sridhar
Inés García Rodríguez
Carlemi Calitz
Dasja Pajkrt
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Winner Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge 2023