Lonza's New Spheroid-Forming Human Hepatocytes Facilitate Improved In Vitro Liver Model Systems

Lonza has further expanded its hepatocytes portfolio characterization with the addition of Verified for Spheroids Human Hepatocytes, which are pre -screened for their ability to promote rapid spheroid formation in cell culture. Researchers working in toxicology, disease modeling and DMPK studies can now feel more confident in the performance of Lonza's hepatocytes in their spheroid and other 3-dimensional (3D) culture platforms.

Physiologically relevant in vitro liver model systems play a crucial role in the success of toxicology, disease modeling and DMPK studies. Conventional 2 -dimensional (2D) hepatocyte cultures offer good short-term models, but they tend to rapidly lose typical hepatocyte functionality, which makes them unsuitable for longer-term studies.

To address this challenge, self-assembling liver spheroids generated from primary human hepatocytes (PHH) are increasingly employed. These spheroids exhibit in vivo-like cell organization, improve the predictability of known clinical liver toxicants and preserve the viability and functionality of the hepatocytes. However, not all currently available hepatocyte donor batches are capable of forming spheroids in culture.

"Using spheroids as in vitro liver model systems requires researchers to carefully select donors and thoroughly examine hepatocyte lots in advance," said Erica Chamberlin, Technical Specialist at Lonza. "With our Verified for Spheroids Human Hepatocytes, we take on this burden on behalf of our customers, enabling them to focus on what matters most - their science."

During the SOT Annual Meeting, Dr. Magdalene Stosik, Senior Scientist at Lonza, will present the results of a study whereby Lonza analyzed and optimized the formation, culture and performance of PHH in different spheroid culture systems. The study also compared metabolic function and viability of the spheroids over 28 days in culture. Primary human hepatocyte spheroids were rapidly generated that exhibited the ability to support liver metabolic function during long-term exposure and repeated dosing toxicology studies.

Lonza is an integrated solutions provider that creates value along the healthcare continuum. Through its pharma & biotech segment and the specialty ingredients segment businesses, the company harnesses science and technology to serve markets along this continuum. Lonza focuses on creating a healthy environment, promoting a healthier lifestyle and preventing illness through consumers' preventive healthcare, as well as improving patient healthcare by supporting their customers to deliver innovative medicines that help treat or even cure severe diseases.

Founded in 1897 in the Swiss Alps, Lonza today is a well-respected global company with more than 100 sites and offices and approximately 15,500 full -time employees worldwide. The company generated sales of CHF 5.5 billion in 2018 with a core EBITDA of CHF 1.5 billion.