© FT montage: Ian Bott/Dreamstime

How science is getting closer to a world without animal testing

New technology involving miniature human organs built in a lab is a step towards better treatments and ending a contentious practice

Alex Blyth thought his company had a genius strategy to reinvent cancer treatment. By examining the immunity of the lucky few who had no family history of the disease, Lift Biosciences discovered a potential treatment to destroy tumours for everyone else. Then the cell therapy hit a snag: it did not work when tested on mice.

The bad news came just as Blyth was about to sign a £20mn-plus fundraising round for his Cambridge-based biotech. Investors were shaken by the poor data from the pre-clinical study and, suddenly, he could only raise £5mn, at a lower valuation.

But Lift’s chief scientist Oxana Polyakova turned to a novel technology that replicates a miniature human tumour in a dish: a tumoroid. When used on the tumoroid the drug “totally trashed” the cancer, Blyth says, to the point where a patient would have been in complete remission.

“It showed we had something that really worked. Investors were thrilled: they had just come in at the lower round,” he says. “I wasn’t so thrilled.”

FT

Bessere Krebsdiagnose dank digitalen 3D-Bildern

Eine neue generative KI entwickelt Moleküle von Grund auf so, dass sie genau zu einem Protein passen, mit dem sie wechselwirken sollen. (Grafik: ETH Zürich / Gisbert Schneider)

KI entwirft neue Medikamente anhand von Proteinstrukturen

https://www.srf.ch/audio/einfach-politik/eizellenspende-im-ausland-legal-in-der-schweiz-bald-auch?id=12285811

Eizellenspende: Im Ausland legal - in der Schweiz bald auch?

Angriff auf den Hirntumor

Man sieht dem Golden Rice seine gentechnische Veränderung sofort an: Die Körner schimmern goldgelb. Sie enthalten Betacarotin, eine Vorstufe von Vitamin A.

Erstmals konnte der gentechnisch veränderte Golden Rice geerntet werden – er löst seit mehr als zwanzig Jahren grosse Hoffnungen und heftige Kritik aus

ETH Zürich stärkt Medizinforschung mit neuem Standort in Schlieren