More than 100 million individuals worldwide suffer from organ fibrosis, a pathological proliferation of connective tissue in an organ, such as the lung, heart and liver. Hardly any causal treatments are available to date. The unmet medical need is partly due to the fact that the existing disease models for fibrosis research are insufficient and little predictive. Coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, four Fraunhofer institutes (ITEM, IWS, MEVIS und IMW) have joined forces in the FibroPaths® project aimed at enabling rapid and safe development of antifibrotic drugs.
The aim is to develop a novel system for preclinical testing of antifibrotic candidate drugs. It will be based on a standardized and automated biochip that includes human tissue and is thus closer to the real situation in humans. In addition, it will help avoid animal experiments in the sense of the 3Rs principle (replace, reduce, refine animal testing).