Schlieren ZH – US biotech firm Akero Therapeutics is now using InSphero’s human liver disease platform to screen the effects of one of its lead product candidates.

Akero Therapeutics is currently conducting a Phase 2a clinical trial on its lead program AKR-001 for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which can lead to liver fibrosis, liver failure, cancer and even death.

The US biotech firm has now entered into an agreement with InSphero in the Greater Zurich Area to use InSphero’s 3D InSight Human Liver Disease Platform to screen the effects of AKR-001.

InSphero develops 3D microtissues for use during drug development to evaluate the impact of a drug on the human body. Its 3D InSight Human Liver Disease Platform is also based on this 3D microtissue technology and makes it possible to develop drugs in vitro, rather than testing them on animals.

“With InSphero’s human in vitro liver disease platform, we will evaluate AKR-001’s effects on human liver cells to help contextualize results from our ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial,” said Time Rolph, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Akero Therapeutics.

Jan Lichtenberg, co-founder and CEO of InSphero, said that his company is excited to work with Akero, adding that the new research partnership “highlights the rapid adoption of our novel in vitro discovery platform”.

InSphero is a spin-off of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.

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