Strand Life Sciences (Strand), a Bangalore and San Francisco-based bioinformatics and systems biology company has received patent protection for its method for predicting organ toxicity and a system thereof in the United States (USPTO patent no. 8,645,075) effective from 4 February 2014. The method is currently employed in the form of a rat-based Virtual Liver model by the pharmaceutical industry to predict and assess hepatotoxicity of novel drug compounds in pre-clinical studies and by the cosmetics industry in the form of a skin and hair model.
Strand also announced the release of the human version of the Virtual Liver model with an even more direct application in human drug and chemical safety studies. Strand’s Virtual Liver is based on a model of normal liver physiology, which, combined with targeted assays, provides mechanistic insights into how a drug compound or chemical impacts the liver. Work on the liver model began in 2007 and the rat-based model was ready for commercialization in 2011.
With the patent being issued, we expect interest in our platform and subsequently business to increase and our labs to get busier, says Kalyanasundaram Subramanian, Chief Scientific Officer at Strand. An estimated 50% of drug failures in the clinical trial stage are attributed to toxicity, out of which 60% are attributed to liver injury. Using Strands rat model the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry is able to reduce the number of and cost associated with animal trials. The new human model will now also enable them to more accurately observe the impact of a compound on the human system, making drugs even safer before they enter into clinical trials.