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25.09.2014 - InSphero Named #1 Swiss Startup for 2014

InSphero Named #1 Swiss Startup for 2014

Schlieren, Switzerland, September 25, 2014 – Leading supplier of 3D microtissues for in vitro toxicity and efficacy testing earns top honors in annual Swiss startup competition.  PDF version

InSphero AG, the leading provider of assay-ready 3D microtissues and 3D-focused contract research services, was recognized as the #1 company in the Top 100 Swiss Startups Rankings for 2014, per results published in Switzerland on September 18th.  The honor marks the fourth consecutive year that InSphero has made the Top 10 in the rankings, but is the first time the company has been awarded the #1 overall startup designation across all industries. Founded in 2009 in Zurich, Switzerland, InSphero now has commercial offices in Germany and the United States, and counts the world’s top 15 pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies amongst its customers. Already in 2014 the company has added novel 3D pancreatic microislets to its 3D InSight™ microtissue line, along with a spheroid imager, and 3D-optimized cytotoxicity assay kit that incorporates technology from Promega, the industry's leading provider of cell-based assays.

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of InSphero says the award is affirmation that the company‘s effort to expand the reach of their customer base along with the breadth of their product portfolio are paying off. “We started with the mission to make 3D cell culture a robust and easy to use tool for more predictive drug testing. Today, all major pharma companies have InSphero products in-house. We are proud that the panel has recognized this success.”

InSphero, a spin-off of the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, placed fifth overall in the competition in 2013. The Swiss Startups Rankings are determined by a panel of 100 Swiss startup experts, each of whom individually names and ranks ten promising startup companies. Ten points are awarded to the top nominee on each list, down to one point for the tenth, and the startups with the highest combined points enter the Top 100 rankings.

To learn more about InSphero visit www.insphero.com.

 

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com, www.insphero.com

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jan.lichtenberg@insphero.comwww.insphero.com

 

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards, including being named the #1 Swiss Startup for 2014. InSphero is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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09.07.2014 - Protea Biosciences and InSphero AG Enter into Collaboration and Co-marketing Agreement to Combine 3D Technologies

Protea Biosciences and InSphero AG Enter into Collaboration and Co-marketing Agreement to Combine 3D Technologies

Schlieren, Switzerland, and Morgantown, West Virginia, July 9, 2014 – Protea to apply direct 3D molecular imaging platform to InSphero's 3D InSightTM Microtissues.  PDF version

Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. (OTCQB:PRGB) and InSphero AG jointly announced today that they have entered into a collaboration that will combine each company’s respective 3D technology. InSphero AG is the leading supplier of 3D organotypic microtissues for in vitro toxicology and efficacy studies, with models derived from liver, pancreas, tumor, and brain tissue that yield a high level of predictability during drug development compared to traditional 2-dimensional cell culture and other in vitro model systems. The collaboration will use Protea’s proprietary LAESI® direct molecular imaging platform to analyze InSphero’s proprietary 3D InSight™ microtissues, creating 3D molecular profiles for tissue characterization, drug metabolism and distribution, pharmacokinetic and toxicity applications. From this collaboration, Protea and InSphero expect to create new products and services that may be marketed to pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers worldwide.

“The understanding of disease and the development of new pharmaceuticals continues to be an enormous challenge, one that requires new technologies”, stated Protea’s CEO Stephen Turner. He added, “We believe that InSphero’s 3D microtissues deliver a new level of insight and predictability to the drug development process. We are honored to be working with InSphero’s team of scientists and to have the opportunity to apply our LAESI direct molecular imaging technology to the analysis of their 3D microtissues.”  

InSphero CEO and co-founder Dr. Jan Lichtenberg believes the partnering of the two 3D technologies is a natural fit. “The LAESI technology increases the power of mass spectrometry, and is uniquely suited to meet the needs of researchers using our 3D microtissues. The ability to reconstruct the molecular profile of a tissue in three dimensions, including endogenous proteins, drugs, and compound metabolites, will facilitate a deeper characterization of 3D cell models, and open doors to novel applications that can further enhance their utility in drug discovery and development.”

To learn more about InSphero visit www.insphero.com.

To learn more about Protea visit www.proteabio.com.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com, www.insphero.com

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jan.lichtenberg@insphero.comwww.insphero.com

Protea contact

Stephen L. O’Loughlin, Director, Corporate Finance and Development, phone +1 304-292-2226, steve.oloughlin@proteabio.com, www.proteabio.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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About Protea Biosciences Group, Inc.

Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. (OTCQB:PRGB) is a commercial stage molecular information company, focused on meeting the needs of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, chemical and other industries with innovative bioanalytical technologies. Protea's proprietary technology, LAESI® (Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization), is used with mass spectrometry to identify large numbers of distinct molecules from a single analysis of tissues, cells, fluids, agricultural specimens and other sample types. Using proprietary software (ProteaPlot™), the location of each distinct molecule in a respective sample can be displayed, enabling direct molecular imaging. The LAESI DP-1000, an integrated system that combines LAESI and ProteaPlot, is marketed to a wide array of researchers for numerous applications. Protea maintains its own laboratory facility where it performs services using LAESI and complementary technologies for a wide array of customers to support preclinical pharmaceutical R&D, biomarker discovery and other applications. Protea also collaborates with researchers to apply its technologies and expertise to generate new discoveries and intellectual property.

Protea and LAESI are registered trademarks of Protea Biosciences Group, Inc.

Forward-looking statements

This press release may contain certain statements relating to future results. These statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only the company's belief regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the company's control. It is possible that the company's actual results and financial condition may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in these forward-looking statements. Further, information concerning the company and its business, including factors that potentially could materially affect the company's financial results, are contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release, and we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or correct any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that subsequently occur or of which we hereafter become aware.

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   Human Islets

Protea has announced a collaboration to characterize InSphero's 3D microtissues, such as 3D InSight™ Pancreatic Microislets, pictured here.

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10.06.2014 - InSphero Launches Cytotoxicity Assay Kit for 3D Cell Culture

InSphero Launches 3D InSight™ Cytotoxicity Assay Kit for 3D Cell Culture

Schlieren, Switzerland, June 10, 2014 – 3D InSightTM Cytotoxicity Assay Kit incorporates Promega technology to measure cell viability in 3D microtissues, offering complete solution for toxicity and efficacy testing. PDF version

InSphero AG, the leading provider of 3D cell culture technology, assay-ready 3D microtissues, and 3D-focused contract research testing services, announced today the release of their new 3D InSight™ Cytotoxicity Assay Kit. The biochemical assay incorporates proprietary luminescent detection technology with improved reagent stability developed by Promega Corporation (Madison, WI) for measurement of cell viability in 3D microtissues. The kit provides customers with the convenience of ordering InSphero’s 3D InSight™ microtissues, specially formulated culture media, and an industry-standard cell viability assay from a single source, offering a complete solution for more predictive assessment of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), general toxicity, and drug efficacy.

3D liver and tumor microtissues are increasingly used to meet the demands of drug discovery and development, serving as more representative and predictive biological models for testing drug toxicity and efficacy. One of the most common endpoint assays for cytotoxicity assessment is measurement of total cellular ATP content, as ATP levels are an indicator of metabolically active, viable cells. The 3D InSight™ Cytotoxicity Assay Kit measures ATP levels in spheroids using Promega’s homogeneous luciferase-based assay technology, providing reliable quantification of viability with a simple add-mix-read assay format. The complete kit contains reagents suitable for analysis of about 400 microtissues, including an ATP standard and a 3D-optimized protocol compatible with InSphero’s catalog of assay-ready microtissues such as liver, pancreatic islet, and a variety of tumor microtissues derived from common cancer cell lines.

InSphero CEO and co-founder Dr. Jan Lichtenberg states the incorporation of Promega technology in the kit brings together two leading technology providers, and is the latest result of InSphero’s strong strategic partnership with Promega. “As one of the first companies in our market, Promega understood the importance of offering optimized assay protocols for 3D cell-culture models. Our customers will benefit from a complete set of solutions for their toxicity assessment workflow, including a gold-standard 3D microtissue, optimized maintenance media, and now a reliable viability assay.”

Dr. Terry Riss, Senior Product Specialist, Cell Health at Promega states, “We are excited to deliver our industry-leading ATP assay technology to the 3D marketplace through InSphero. Their insight and expertise has been crucial in optimizing our assays for use with 3D microtissues, and has helped accelerate our efforts to adapt a variety of well-established luminescent assays to researchers using 3D model systems.”

To find out more about the 3D InSight™ Cytotoxicity Assay Kit, or to learn more about InSphero visit www.insphero.com.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com, www.insphero.com

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jan.lichtenbergwww.insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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About Promega

Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s 2,500 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, molecular diagnostics and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 15 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information about Promega, visit www.promega.com.

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 3D InSight Cytotoxicity Assay Kit of InSphero

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28.05.2014 - InSphero Launches 3D InSight™ Pancreatic Microislets for Diabetes and Toxicity Research

InSphero Launches 3D InSight™ Pancreatic Microislets for Diabetes and Toxicity Research

Schlieren, Switzerland, May 28, 2014 – Recently published 3D human and rat “pseudo-islets” display long-lived, robust metabolic activity, offer convenient solution for islet transplantation, anti-diabetic drug development, and assessment of acute and chronic toxicity of the endocrine pancreas. PDF version

InSphero AG today announced the launch of 3D InSight™ Human and Rat Pancreatic Microislets, further expanding the company’s catalog of organotypic 3D models produced using their patented hanging-drop production technology.  The product launch follows InSphero‘s April publication of the microislets in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, characterizing their physiological properties and potential for use in islet transplantation, as well as a convenient in vitro model system for drug development and toxicity studies.

Primary human and rat pancreatic islets are widely used as in vitro models for diabetes and metabolic disorders, but current harvesting and isolation methods result in tissue impurities, size heterogeneity, and damage to cells that negatively impact the robustness of data generated, and hinder their use as a high-throughput tool for drug discovery.

3D InSight™ Pancreatic Microislets solve the two major shortcomings of current methods used to isolate primary human or rat pancreatic tissue: inconsistent microislet size and heterogeneous cellular composition, both of which contribute to variations in data.  Controlling size is very important, says Dr. Wolfgang Moritz, co-author of the publication and co-founder of InSphero:  “As far as microislets are concerned, bigger is not better.  Smaller microislets produce more insulin per cell than larger ones, and are subject to less oxidative stress during long-term culture.“ Typically small islets must be tediously hand-picked for in vitro studies, a process that also wastes a lot of the donor material.  “We’ve standardized the process and dramatically reduced waste by first dissociating the tissue and then allowing a defined number of cells to reassemble in the hanging drop platform.  This results in “pseudo-islets” of remarkably consistent size, which is extremely important for cell viability, functionality, and to obtain the desired well-to-well consistency required for high-throughput applications.“

The cellular composition of each microislet tissue is also critical to ensuring their metabolic activity reflects that of native pancreatic islets.  The InSphero process results in microislets with a more uniform ratio of alpha, beta, and delta cells, the cells of the pancreas responsible for production of glucagon, insulin, and somatostatin, respectively.  States Dr. Moritz, “3D InSight™ Pancreatic Microislets display glucose-responsive production of insulin for up to four weeks in culture, giving the researcher a metabolically active model suitable for long-term, repeat-dose efficacy and toxicity studies.  The consistent size, more homogeneous cell composition, and automation-compatible format has generated significant demand for the islets for studies ranging from anti-diabetic drug efficacy to assessment of endocrine pancreatic toxicity.“

To find out more about 3D InSight™ Pancreatic Microislets, or to find out more about InSphero visit www.insphero.com.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com, www.insphero.com

Dr. Wolfgang Moritz, Head of Research & Applications and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, wolfgang.moritz@insphero.comwww.insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

Follow us on twitternewsletter and www.insphero.com

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24.04.2014 - InSphero Publishes 3D Tumor-Stroma Model for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

InSphero Publishes 3D Tumor-Stroma Model for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Schlieren, Switzerland, April 24, 2014 – PLOS One article delivers promising co-culture method to mimic tumor microenvironment, demonstrating potential for biomarker and drug discovery. PDF version

InSphero AG, working with researchers at the Medical University Innsbruck (Tyrol, Austria), has published a study highlighting development of a novel 3D cell culture model for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in men and women worldwide.  The findings, published March 24 in PLOS One, used InSphero’s GravityPLUS™ hanging drop platform to form 3D tumor spheroid co-cultures comprised of a NSCLC tumor cell line and lung-derived fibroblasts.  The results showed how both lung cancer cells and stromal cells (lung fibroblasts) behave differently when grown together in 3D than when grown alone.

The study was initiated in response to the recent failure of several targeted therapies for NSCLC in clinical trials, therapies which were supported by promising in vitro data.  To achieve a better in vitro model, researchers used the NSCLC cell lines A549 or Colo699 to create 3D tumors in hanging drops, with or without the lung fibroblast cell line SV80.  The tumors were then analyzed for viability, morpology, and expression of different phenotypic markers using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and other methods.  Most notable were changes in the tumor cells during co-culture that indicated an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), as evidenced by an increase in vimentin protein expression, and a decrease in the epithelial cell adhesion protein E-cadherin.  Also of interest was the expression of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), a marker of cancer-associated fibroblasts, in the SV80 fibroblasts only when co-cultured with A549 cells.

Dr. Jens Kelm, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of InSphero AG was co-author on the manuscript.  He states the 3D co-culture model should improve drug efficacy testing by removing some of the bias inherent in current 2D in vitro models used to screen anti-cancer drugs.  “What this 3D lung cancer co-culture model confirmed for us is that tumor cells are phenotypically different in terms of their viability, activity, and morphology when they grow in the presence of fibroblasts.  Likewise, the stromal cells associated with tumors also behave differently in co-culture than they do alone, becoming more like myofibroblasts, cells that are known to assist tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis.  This model creates an even more native in vitro tumor environment to more easily assess tumor growth, pathobiology, and drug efficacy.”

Using Insphero’s automation-compatible, high-throughput platform, the authors plan to conduct advanced screens for improved anti-cancer drugs and to indentify novel NSCLC biomarkers.  
To find out more about InSphero visit www.insphero.com.

InSphero CEO and co-founder Dr. Jan Lichtenberg sees the agreement as an exciting next step toward making InSphero a total solution provider for the 3D cell culture marketplace. "Adding the Cell3iMager to our portfolio gets us closer to offering our customers a complete set of solutions for 3D cell based assays – from the assay-ready 3D cell model, to assay reagents and instruments for endpoint analysis."

Mr. Kunihisa Hashimoto, General Manager of Dainippon Screen's Imaging and Solutions Division, noted the agreement with InSphero is also a major step for Dainippon Screen. "Combining InSphero's GravityTRAP™ plates and microtissues with the imaging technology of our Cell3iMager is sure to streamline and simplify research using 3D tissue cultures. We are excited to leverage InSphero's expertise in the 3D marketplace to help bring our innovative imaging system to North America and Europe."

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com, www.insphero.com

Dr. Jens Kelm, CSO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jens.kelm@insphero.com, www.insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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04.04.2014 - InSphero to Distribute Dainippon Screen Imager for Rapid Profiling of 3D Microtissues

InSphero to Distribute Dainippon Screen Imager for Rapid Profiling of 3D Microtissues

Schlieren, Switzerland and Kyoto, Japan – April 4, 2014 – InSphero, Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. partner, to market the Cell3iMager in the US and Europe, simplifying growth and morphological profiling of 3D microtissues. PDF version

InSphero AG and Dainippon Screen (Kyoto, Japan) announced today they have reached a distribution agreement for InSphero to begin marketing Dainippon Screen's Cell in North America and Europe. Dainippon Screen selected InSphero based on their in-depth know-how pertaining to 3D microtissue biology and applications. The Cell3iMager is fully compatible with InSphero's GravityTRAP™ 3D microtissue assay platform and other 3D-cell culture plates, providing rapid, robust profiling of microtissue growth and morphology.

3D tumor microtissues or spheroids are increasingly used in drug discovery and development as a more representative biological model for testing drug sensitivity and efficacy. Size and morphology are important determinants to evaluate the biological behavior of 3D microtissues, particularly in development of anti-cancer drugs, where monitoring cell growth is a particularly critical endpoint. High-throughput, accurate assessment of 3D microtissue size and growth in these applications is currently limited by sequential, time-consuming and often manual optical measurements.

The innovative Cell3iMager's high-resolution scanning optics provide rapid direct measurement of multiple endpoints, including microtissue diameter, area, pseudo-volume, and circularity at a resolution of up to 9600 dpi. The system can analyze four 96- or 384-well plates in a single run, in as little as one minute per plate, enabling fast and label-free visualization of even small size differences. The scanner software is tailored for the analysis of 3D microtissues, allowing adjustment of parameters such as focal plane, minimum and maximum object size, scan area, and resolution for developing protocols specific to a given tissue type or assay.

The instrument is already broadly used in Japan and is now available in North America and Europe through InSphero's experienced sales team.

InSphero CEO and co-founder Dr. Jan Lichtenberg sees the agreement as an exciting next step toward making InSphero a total solution provider for the 3D cell culture marketplace. "Adding the Cell3iMager to our portfolio gets us closer to offering our customers a complete set of solutions for 3D cell based assays – from the assay-ready 3D cell model, to assay reagents and instruments for endpoint analysis."

Mr. Kunihisa Hashimoto, General Manager of Dainippon Screen's Imaging and Solutions Division, noted the agreement with InSphero is also a major step for Dainippon Screen. "Combining InSphero's GravityTRAP™ plates and microtissues with the imaging technology of our Cell3iMager is sure to streamline and simplify research using 3D tissue cultures. We are excited to leverage InSphero's expertise in the 3D marketplace to help bring our innovative imaging system to North America and Europe."

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jan.lichtenberg@insphero.com

Dainippon Screen contact

Mr. Yasutaka Nakamura, Deputy General Manager, Imaging and Solution Division, phone +81-75-414-7073, Cell3iMager@emis.screen.co.jp

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top 10 global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

About Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd.

Dainippon Screen was established in 1943 and is currently one of the top 10 suppliers of semiconductor equipment, including wafer cleaning and annealing systems. It has expanded its base with core image processing, lithography, and cleaning technologies developed over the years, including businesses in flat panel display, printed circuit board, and media technologies. More recently, Dainippon Screen has leveraged its extensive technological experience in image acquisition and processing to develop innovative instruments for the cell biology market. For more information, please visit: www.screen.co.jp

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20.03.2014 - InSphero Announces Collaboration with NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

InSphero Announces Collaboration with NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Schlieren, Switzerland and Rockville, Maryland, March 20, 2014 - Study to characterize 460 NCATS anti-cancer agents in 3D tumor models generated using InSphero technology. PDF version

InSphero AG today announced a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to identify anti-cancer agents with cytotoxic activity in 3D culture models. The project includes development of multi-cell type spheroids (MCTS) by InSphero in the company's 96- and 384-well GravityPLUS™ hanging drop plates, using tumor cell lines currently being at NCATS. InSphero will generate the 3D microtissues and provide them to NCATS to screen a collection of 460 anti-cancer agents for cytotoxic effects using assays that measure cell proliferation, tissue integrity, and tissue size.

In the study, MCTS cultures will be explored as a model of tumors to predict the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs. Currently, high-throughput screens to discover such agents are typically conducted in two dimensional (2D) proliferation assays using cells grown on tissue-culture treated plastic surfaces. However, it is evident that such 2D assays using cancer cell lines fail to reproduce the cellular heterogeneity of tumors, as well as the complexity of the interactions with the tumor microenvironment that are seen in vivo. As a consequence, compounds that appear to be cytotoxic in 2D cell proliferation assays often fail to produce an effect in vivo.

The 3D microtissues are thought to offer a more accurate physiological representation of a tumor and its extracellular environment, including the effect of additional cell types such as endothelial and stromal cells. 3D cultures are also being used as models to investigate tumor cell sub-populations called cancer stem cells or tumor-initiating cells. These cells have self-renewal potential and are thought to drive metastasis and tumor formation. They also appear to be resistant to current chemotherapy and radiation-therapy treatments that produce cancer recurrence.

"InSphero is excited to join forces with the expertise and resources from the NCATS team to help screen their oncology library for compounds that can kill cancer cells in the context of a more relevant tumor model system," says Jens Kelm, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of InSphero. "By co-culturing non-proliferative stromal cells in combination with tumor cell lines, the 3D spheroids more accurately reflect tumor heterogeneity and tumor microenvironments. Our system will enable direct discrimination of compounds that act specifically on the cancer cell population from those having a general cytotoxic effect."

"Our work with InSphero is yet another example of how NCATS fosters collaborations to explore novel technologies that carry the promise to accelerate discovery of molecular therapeutic agents across multiple disease areas," said Anton Simeonov, Ph.D., acting deputy scientific director of NCATS' Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation.

For more information about NCATS, visit www.ncats.nih.gov .

For more information about InSphero, browse our website.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com

Dr. Jens Kelm, CSO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jens.kelm@insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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27.02.2014 - InSphero Granted Hanging Drop Patents in China and Japan

InSphero Granted Hanging Drop Patents in China and Japan

Schlieren, Switzerland, February 27, 2014 – InSphero adds GravityPLUS™ patents in major Asian markets to existing European & Singapore patents, awaits decision on pending US patent. PDF version

The Patent Office of the People's Republic of China and the Japan Patent Office granted InSphero full protection of its GravityPLUS™ hanging-drop technology in January 2014. A decision from the US patent office is expected to follow within the coming months.

InSphero's core patent WO2010031194 describes multiwell-plates, which allow the generation of hanging drops for 3D cell culture using convenient top loading of the cell suspension. InSphero has commercialized a number of SBS-compatible 3D cell culture plates for spheroid generation, which are based on this patent.

Commenting on this favorable decision for InSphero, CEO Dr. Jan Lichtenberg noted, "We are excited to add patents in these two important marketplaces to our existing patent portfolio for the GravityPLUS™ technology. These patents further protect the market from imitations of our hanging drop plates, and we hope to secure similar protection in the US market in the near future. We, like our customers, understand the importance of intellectual property in our industry as it protects the efforts and investments made into the creation of new technology. "

To find out more about InSphero browse our website.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jan.lichtenberg@insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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27.02.2014 - JBS Publication Demonstrates Utility of InSphero 3D Co-culture Microtissues as Phenotypic RNAi Screening Tool

JBS Publication Demonstrates Utility of InSphero 3D Co-culture Microtissues as Phenotypic RNAi Screening Tool

Schlieren, Switzerland, February 27, 2014 – Report in the Journal of Biomolecular Screening establishes fluorescent 3D tumor co-culture model, enables screening of gene function in a system more reflective of in vivo tumor growth. PDF version

Research in the Journal of Biomolecular Screening co-authored by InSphero AG and the Institute of Molecular Health Sciences (Zurich) characterizes a high-throughput compatible 3D tumor model system based on InSphero's GravityPLUS™ hanging drop technology. The authors use the co-culture model and RNA interference (RNAi) to reveal differential phenotypic responses to targeted gene disruption that are dependent upon the 2D or 3D manner in which the cells are grown.

Currently, identification of drug targets and primary target validation are typically performed using 2D cell culture systems. These conditions do not reflect the interactive 3D tumor microenvironment in vivo. The study directly compares 2D and 3D microtissue co-cultures composed of human DLD I colon cancer cells and murine fibroblasts, each genetically modified to allow simple quantification of tumor and fibroblast cell number by fluorescence imaging. Upon siRNA-mediated depletion of Kifl I/Eg5, a critical mitotic protein, cancer cell proliferation in 3D microtissues was inhibited, whereas those in 2D monolayers were more resistant to gene depletion and continued to proliferate.

Dr. Jens M. Kelm, Chief Scientific Officer at InSphero AG and corresponding author on the manuscript, states the 3D co-culture model attempts to more accurately reflect the heterotypic interactions seen in vivo, while also being amenable to high-throughput approaches to early target identification and validation. "Our findings reiterate the importance of the cellular context in which gene function analysis studies are performed. Co-cultures grown in 3D may display a dramatically different result in phenotypic screens than in traditional 2D monolayers."

InSphero provides a broad portfolio of assay-ready 3D InSight™ Tumor Microtissues from widely used cell lines, including various co-cultures with human or mouse stromal cells, and Fluorescent Microtissues expressing reporters to distinguish tumor and stromal cell populations.

To find out more about InSphero browse our website.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com

Dr. Jens Kelm, CSO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jens.kelm@insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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30.01.2014 - InSphero Study Reveals Enhanced Stress-Responsive & Metabolic Gene Expression in 3D Liver Microtissues

InSphero Study Reveals Enhanced Stress-Responsive & Metabolic Gene Expression in 3D Liver Microtissues

Schlieren, Switzerland, January 30, 2014 – Publication in the Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering characterizes 3D rat liver microtissues as a beneficial organotypic model system for toxicology and compound de-risking. PDF version

Findings in a recent research article in the Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering, co-authored by InSphero AG and the University of Basel, Switzerland, provided further evidence supporting the more organotypic nature of 3D liver microtissues, and their utility as improved model systems for toxicity testing and assessment of drug-induced liver injury (DILI).

The study aimed to characterize novel 3D rat liver spheroids by comparing the expression and activity of key enzymes involved in cytoprotection (Nrf2-responsive genes) and glucocorticoid metabolism (Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR)-responsive genes) in InSphero's 3D Insight™ Rat Liver Microtissues relative to traditional 2D sandwich cultures or rat hepatoma cell lines. The data revealed a distinct increase in the level and duration of expression for multiple Nrf2- and GR-responsive genes in 3D rat liver microtissues. The increased expression in 3D- versus 2D- culture was seen to persist over 3 weeks in culture, as was sustained metabolic activity of the microtissues, assessed by their ability to convert cortisone to cortisol.

Dr. Simon Messner, Product Manager at InSphero AG and co-author on the manuscript, stated the findings will prove beneficial to researchers looking for more long-lived toxicity models. "Currently used 2D-culture systems often fail to predict hepatotoxicity because the liver-specific gene expression is lost within 48 hours. In contrast, 3D Rat Liver Microtissues preserve liver-specific gene expression over 4 weeks in culture, which enables more predictive drug testing."

The results provide the latest insight into the more liver-like gene expression and metabolic profile of 3D microtissues, further indicating their use as a more suitable in vitro model during early-stage drug development to accurately assess and predict DILI.

To find out more about InSphero browse our website.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com

Dr. Simon Messner, Product Manager Toxicology, phone +41 44 5150490, simon.messner@insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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28.01.2014 - InSphero hires new Director of Global Marketing

InSphero hires new Director of Global Marketing

Schlieren, Switzerland, January 28, 2014 – InSphero starts 2014 with a new Director of Global Marketing: Randy Strube, Ph.D. joined the company in January 2014 to strengthen InSphero's marketing team. PDF version

With Dr. Strube, InSphero won a technically skilled and very experienced life science professional to continue its remarkable growth over the past years. Previously, Dr. Strube has helped build outstanding marketing frameworks for successful companies such as Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. and Assay Designs, Inc. As a trained microbiologist with a Ph.D. in cancer biology, he also brings the necessary technical background to help InSphero educate and inform the life science community about the advantages of 3D-cell-based assays over conventional 2D monolayers.

"As a rapidly growing, global innovation driver in the field of 3D cell-culture, we have a lot to tell," explains Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and co-founder of InSphero. "With Dr. Strube joining us, we will be faster and more to the point in explaining InSphero's cutting-edge products and services to drug-discovery and drug-safety customers all over the world."

Excited to be part of the InSphero team, Dr. Strube commented, "The scientific and executive leadership at InSphero have established a technology, in-house expertise, and strategic partnerships that clearly distinguish InSphero within the 3D marketplace. I'm honored for the opportunity to help build the InSphero brand globally and to communicate the industry-transforming benefits of our technology to the scientific community."

To find out more about InSphero browse our website.

InSphero contact

Dr. Randy Strube, Director of Global Marketing, phone +1 800-779-7558 ext. 102, randy.strube@insphero.com

Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, phone +41 44 5150490, jan.lichtenberg@insphero.com

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in the USA and in Germany, currently counts all of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers. InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology. The spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich has been recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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