Thursday, October 24, 2013

3D: Let's Talk Bioprinting (ONVO)

Not the niche that we've focused our 3D links on but one which some very smart people think is actually the potentially largest market for the technology.
Q&A with Keith Murphy, CEO of Organovo Holdings Inc. (ONVO)
Organovo Holdings, Inc. develops three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology for creating functional human tissues on demand for research and medical applications. The company’s 3D NovoGen bioprinting technology works across various tissue and cell types, and allows for the placement of cells in desired pattern.  It offers NovoGen MMX Bioprinter, a commercial hardware and software bioprinter platform to create tissues for bioprinting research and development.  Organovo was founded in 2007 and is based in San Diego, California.  The company's web site is at  Thank you Mr. Murphy for spending time with readers of
You co-founded and have been the CEO of Organovo since August, 2007.   What are the most significant breakthroughs in 3D bioprinting that have been made over those 6 years?

Keith Murphy:  There are many things we can’t disclose today, but of those we have disclosed:
-Demonstrated printing of first fully cellular engineered human artery
-Demonstrated use of stem cells from fat tissue to create arteries
-First implantation of bioprinted tissues into in vivo (animal) studies
-Demonstrated 40 days of performance of 3D Liver tissue – with biological activity comparable to human liver!  Organovo currently supplies Novotissues™, 3D bioprinted tissues which render more natural cell to cell interactions for medical research and drug studies.  Can you list some of your past and current customers for these tissues, and are you in discussions with any potential new customers at the moment?

Keith Murphy:  Our first product launch is slated for 2014, for a 3D Liver product to be used in toxicology by pharma customers.  We have disclosed a number of partnerships, but that will be the first time we have customers in the traditional sense.  Data from The US Dept. of Health and Human Services reveals there are nearly 100,000 patients with chronic renal failure needing a kidney transplant and yet less than 17,000 transplants were performed from January-July 2013. When do you believe we will see fully functioning organs such as kidneys, the liver, pancreas, etc. that can be transplanted, and which fully functioning organ is Organovo now closest to bioprinting?...MORE