Tel Aviv University (TAU) in central Israel announced Sunday that it has signed a collaboration agreement with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer to test new cardiac drugs using human heart tissues developed and 3D-printed by TAU.
As part of the agreement, by using TAU’s engineered tissues, the company will test the toxicity and efficacy of the new medication in a fast, cheap way.
Also, in the upcoming years, TAU’s team and Bayer plan to test new medication for toxicity and efficacy even with printed whole human hearts.
The Israeli team successfully produced the first-ever 3D-printed heart from tissue extracted from a patient in April last year.
The researchers estimate that it will be possible to print personalized organs and tissues within 10-15 years, thus eliminating the need for organ donations and the risk of transplant rejection.
Meanwhile, TAU noted that this innovative technology already has the potential to revolutionize the different medical field of drug screening.
Drug candidates go through several phases of screening before reaching pharmacies, as they are first tested on human tissue cultures, then administered to lab animals and finally approved for human clinical trials.
According to TAU, its 3D-printed tissues could enable faster, cheaper and more efficient screening than petri dishes.