The Methuselah Foundation's Bioprinting Program

The Methuselah Foundation was an early investor in tissue engineering company Organovo, and continues to have a strong interest in accelerating progress in this field through initiatives like the New Organ programs. A while back the Methuselah Foundation kicked off their 3D bioprinter program in collaboration with Organovo, putting bioprinters into academic departments where they can be used to speed up the development of new tissue engineering methodologies. At some point in the decades ahead the research community will be capable of rapidly printing or growing near any type of tissue using a patient's own cells, and the aim here is to help bring that day closer.

Organovo, a three-dimensional biology company focused on delivering scientific and medical breakthroughs using its 3D bioprinting technology, today announced a collaboration with the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia to develop an architecturally correct kidney for potential therapeutic applications. The collaboration has been made possible by a generous gift from the Methuselah Foundationas part of its ongoing University 3D Bioprinter Program. "Partnerships with world-class institutions can accelerate groundbreaking work in finding cures for critical unmet disease needs and the development of implantable therapeutic tissues. This collaboration is another important step in this direction. With the devoted and ongoing support of the Methuselah Foundation, leading researchers are able to leverage Organovo's powerful technology platform to achieve significant breakthroughs."

We have developed an approach for recreating human kidney tissue from stem cells," said the Theme Director of Cell Biology at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. "Using Organovo's bioprinter will give us the opportunity to bioprint these cells into a more accurate model of the kidney. While initially important for modelling disease and screening drugs, we hope that this is also the first step towards regenerative medicine for kidney disease. We are very grateful to Organovo and the Methuselah Foundation for this generous support, which will enable us to advance our research with the first Organovo bioprinter in the southern hemisphere." Under Methuselah Foundation's University 3D Bioprinter Program, Methuselah is donating at least $500,000 in direct funding to be divided among several institutions for Organovo bioprinter research projects. This funding will cover budgeted bioprinter costs and key aspects of project execution.



Thanks Reason, We've also placed printers at Yale for microvasculature which research is going exceedingly well, and more recently UCSF for creation of de novo bone and cartilage. So, adding full bio-kidney replacement with this grant/project and liver patches from Organovo in 3-5 years, we anticipate that our new parts for people strategy will be fully implemented and clinically available for actual patients by 2025. This will go a long way to helping us achieve our goal to make 90 the new 50 by 2030. We will be releasing a review of progress for 2016 soon, and we hope that folks will be as excited as we are at the concrete and measurable progress we and our partners are achieving...all thanks to our donors, many of whom have been Angel investors who have helped nurture Methuselah's startup investments such as Oisin, Leucadia, Organovo and Silverstone.

Posted by: David Gobel at January 25th, 2017 9:39 AM

I'm glad to read that your research grants are yielding good results, David, and seeing your optimism about an already ambitious timeframe is certainly exciting.

I'm looking forward to reading Methuselah's upcoming newsletter.

Posted by: Spede at January 25th, 2017 11:04 AM

@Spede, agreed, it is very exciting to hear progress from David's organizaton.

David, thank you very much for a status report on Organovo. I love to hear concrete progress in the medical field and Reason's FA blog is my go to for the latest in this field.

Posted by: Robert at January 25th, 2017 1:08 PM
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