CN Bio Innovations (CN Bio) announced today the receipt of a 12 months funding award from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for the development of human in vitro models of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

CN Bio will partner on the award with UK-based CRO Xenogesis Ltd., which specialises in preclinical DMPK, quantitative bioanalysis and expert interpretation.

Within the program, CN Bio will leverage its unique 3D perfused culture platform, LiverChip™, to develop models of fatty liver that are more representative of the human disease than currently available animal models.

NAFLD is very common in overweight and obese patients and can lead to the development of serious liver diseases including Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and liver cancer.

CN Bio’s Chief Technical Officer, Dr David Hughes said “Understanding the effects of fat accumulation on liver function will be important for understanding the mechanisms by which NAFLD progresses to more clinically significant liver diseases, identifying biomarkers so that high risk patients can be diagnosed and treated early, and for the development of new drugs to treat NAFLD and NASH.”

Liver disease is currently the fifth leading cause of mortality in the UK. As global obesity rates rise – above the 1.4bn estimated by the World Health Organisation (2008) – the prevalence and health burden of liver disease is projected to increase worldwide.

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