8:00 am Registration & Morning Coffee Networking


  • Live Demo in Virtual Exhibition Area
  • 1-1 Meetings

8:30 am Opening Remarks

8:40 am Characterization & Use of Microphysiological Systems (MPS) in Pharmaceutical Safety & ADME Applications

  • Terry Van Vleet Head of Investigative Toxicology, Pathology, Molecular & Computational Toxicology, Abbvie


  • Introducing an organotypic manuscript series from IQ MPS Affiliate for several key drug safety and disposition target tissues (lung, liver, kidney, skin, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and blood brain barrier/central nervous system)
  • Defining contexts of use, key characterization data, and platform components needed for incorporation of MPS in pharmaceutical safety screening including a list of characteristic functions, cell types, toxicities, and test agents (representing major mechanisms of toxicity) that can be used by MPS developers

9:00 am An NCATS Perspective: Progress & Future Applications of Organ-on- Chip Systems


  • Update on the NIH Tissue Chip Program, including aims of the new “Clinical-Trials” on a Chip initiative
  • Outlining the development of potentially transformative tissue-chip technology in drug development and disease modeling
  • Exploring the current roadblocks in the field and the future of MPS including plans to increase the adoption of tissue chip systems to further therapeutic options for patients

9:20 am Drug Discovery in 3D: Disease Modeling, Hit Stratification, & Clinical Translation With Human iPSC-derived 3D Neurospheroids


  • Three-dimensional human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based platforms enable greater physiological relevance and short circuit traditional drug development and discovery with more complete target biology early in the process
  • Combining human-based phenotypic screening with multi-parametric analyses enables compound stratification and highlights hits for further development
  • This presentation will highlight the above points with a case study using Rett Syndrome patient derived iPSC neurospheroids, functional screening, advanced analytics, and clinical translation

9:50 am Live Q&A – Ask the Speakers Your Burning Questions

10:20 am Virtual Speed Networking


Recreating the face-to-face networking in the virtual world. We will pair you up with fellow attendees to break the ice and make new business relationships!

11:15 am High-Throughput Microfluidic Organ-on-Chip for Complex In Vitro Models

  • Joseph Charest Head of Strategy & Business Development, Technologies for Pharmaceutical R&D, Draper


  • Microfluidic platforms with active flow control and integrated sensors
  • High-throughput format compatible with life science infrastructure
  • Wide range of tissues and applications

11:45 am Progress in Applying Microphysiological Systems for Drug Safety Assessment

  • Rhiannon David Microphysiological Systems Scientific Lead, AstraZeneca


  • Outline the context of use of microphysiological systems (MPS) to generate safety and efficacy data for drug development with improved clinical relevance over more traditional 2D cell culture and animal models
  • Highlight examples of data generated from these systems that demonstrate the utility of MPS for safety assessment with a focus on a bone marrow MPs for oncology drug combination assessment
  • Current challenges to the adoption and/or development of MPS in the pharmaceutical industry

12:05 pm Engineered 3D Heart Tissues as Models of Disease & Discovery


  • iPSC cardiomyocytes can provide in vitro models of healthy and diseased cardiac function
  • Restorative effects of compounds with respect to contractility, calcium handling, and various other phenotypes can be assayed on these systems
  • Advancing the maturation of iPSCcardiomyocytes can better stratify disease phenotypes and enable enhanced prediction of compound toxicity

12:55 pm PANEL DISCUSSION: The Future of 3D Tissue Model Adoption


  • Progress to showcase the application of 3D systems within drug discovery and development across key sectors
  • How is context of use being defined across the model continuum and what are current advantages and limitations between each system type?
  • Addressing the need to balance the compromise between industry throughput requirements and physiological relevancy
  • Future strategies to increase pharmaceutical application of 3D tissue models to improve validation– what evidence is required?

12:55 pm Networking Lunch

1:45 pm TissueSpec® Bone, Liver, & Lung ECM Substrates as a Metastasis Research Platform to Predict Drug Efficacy


  • Review critical roles played by tissue-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) in metastatic invasion and colonization
  • Highlight Xylyx newly developed metastasis research platform, comprised of TissueSpec® Bone, Liver, and Lung ECM substrates, that recapitulates common tissue-specific metastatic niches
  • Demonstrate how Xylyx metastasis research platform can accelerate drug development by emulating tissue-specific environments of common metastatic sites, yielding more accurate and actionable results

2:05 pm Developing Translationally Relevant 3D Models for Pre-Clinical Drug Development

  • Jason Ekert Senior Director & Head of Complex In Vitro Models, GlaxoSmithKline


  • Understanding how 3D systems can be used to better characterize molecules, decrease R&D cycle time and reduce attrition
  • Insight from the latest progress in qualifying disease relevant models using spheroids, organoids and microphysiological systems
  • Outlining the industry challenges to accurately model the native tumor microenvironment

2:25 pm The Promise of Vascularized Micro-Organs & Tumors for Drug Discovery


• Aracari Biosciences’ Vascularized Micro Organ (VMO™) and Vascularized Micro Tumor (VMT™) platforms contain 3D, fully human tissues that are supported by living, perfused blood vessels

• Molecules and/or immune cells are delivered through the vascularized system directly to these tissues

• Gene expression and drug responses in the VMO and VMT models closely align with in vivo dose response and gene expression data, whereas data from monolayer and spheroid cultures do not

2:45 pm 3D Bioprinted Vascularized Glioblastoma Model

  • Guohao Dai Associate Professor - Biomedical Engineering, Northeastern University


  • Deconstructing the underlying mechanisms of GBM-vascular interaction may add a new therapeutic direction to curtail GBM progression. However, the lack of proper 3D models that recapitulate GBM hallmarks restricts investigating cell-cell/cell-molecular interactions in tumor microenvironment
  • We created GBM-vascular niche models through 3D bioprinting containing patient-derived glioma stem cells (GSCs), human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMVECs) cells, pericytes, astrocytes and various hydrogels to model glioma/endothelial cell-cell interactions in 3D
  • The model platform is capable of modifying multiples variables including ECMs, cell types, vascular structures, and dynamic culture condition. Thus, it can be adapted to other biological systems and serve as a valuable tool for generating customized tumor microenvironments

3:05 pm Live Q&A – Ask the Speakers Your Burning Questions

  • Guohao Dai Associate Professor - Biomedical Engineering, Northeastern University
  • Jason Ekert Senior Director & Head of Complex In Vitro Models, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Evelyn Aranda Senior Research Scientist, XYLYX Bio
  • Chris Hughes CSO , Aracari Biosciences

3:30 pm Poster Session and Networking Break

4:30 pm Organ-on-Chip Platform to Study Colorectal Cancer Progression – Sponsored by Emulate Inc.

  • Shannon Mumenthaler Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California


  • Collaboration with Emulate, Inc. to adapt their organ-on-chip platform to address critical areas in cancer research
  • Outline challenges in studying tumor metastasis in the laboratory setting.
  • Describe 3D microfluidic organ-on-chip platform, incorporating tissue-tissue interfaces and physical forces, to support novel interrogations of colorectal cancer progression.
  • On chip imaging and metabolomics can provide dynamic cell phenotyping in a non-invasive manner.
  • This tunable, organ-on-chip platform highlights the importance of the tumor microenvironment in early metastatic spread of colorectal cancer

4:50 pm Assessment of Donor-to-Donor Variability in Human Gut Organoids


  • We established intestinal organoid cultures from adult stem cells of healthy donors and characterized inter- and intra-culture variability
  • We found that differentiation patterns were consistent among cultures and passages, producing all expected intestinal cell types and developing physiological gut function

5:10 pm Liver MPS Systems for Safety Assessment


  • Explore data comparing liver chip to 3D tissue organoids and conventional culture models for commercial and proprietary applications
  • Outline a case study illustrating the promise of these complex systems while addressing the challenges of adoption and qualification of these models within Pharma

5:30 pm Live Q&A – Ask the Speakers Your Burning Questions

5:40 pm Close of Conference Day 1