PITTSBURGH, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have reduced time, cost, and the use of experimental animals in the development of a novel disease model by employing computer simulation technology developed by the University and licensed by Immunetrics Inc.
The use of the Immunetrics biosimulation platform represents the first known case of applying in silico technology to the development of an animal model, according to Steve Chang, chief executive officer of Immunetrics. By using simulation to help design in vivo experiments, the Pitt researchers completed development of the mouse model using a much smaller number of animals in a shorter amount of time than would have been possible without using simulation.
The goal of the Pitt animal model was to define a set of trauma conditions that would lead to reproducible inflammation and severe dysfunction but not death. The new model will be useful in studying a range in the effect of traumas in humans and other animals. Developers of the new model include Drs. Yoram Vodovotz and Claudio Lagoa, who work in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Immunetrics technology was able to predict the severity of illness based on the duration of hemorrhage and extent of bone fracture in the species," said Timothy Billiar, M.D., chair of the Surgery Department at the University of Pittsburgh. "This permitted our lab to conduct a reduced number of experiments on a smaller number of animals in our goal to develop a very complex animal model."
The Immunetrics biosimulation technology and mathematical modes of inflammation may be used to predict the effects of infection, trauma, and hemorrhage in a large number of experimental scenarios, including drug administration. The model has been validated and calibrated in rodents and humans.
Though developed principally to help design human trials for inflammation- related drugs, the Immunetrics technology demonstrated, in the Pitt study, that computer modeling can promote the "Three R's" of experimental animal use: refinement, reduction, and replacement.
Said Chang: "Using computer models of disease systems can support the ethical emphasis on reducing the use of experimental animals, while also reducing cost and increasing speed in biological research."
Dr. Vodovotz is an inventor of the computer model, which has been licensed to Immunetrics. Drs. Billiar and Vodovotz are consultants to Immunetrics, Inc. and hold equity in Immunetrics.
Immunetrics is a Pittsburgh-based biosimulation company providing a platform to model complex biological systems. Immunetrics possesses the first known comprehensive model of inflammation, which includes major elements of the acute and adaptive components, the coagulation cascade and matrix metalloproteases. With this model, Immunetrics can help drug companies prioritize and design preclinical and clinical programs for new therapies. Immunetrics was founded by LaunchCyte LLC and has been funded by Innovation Works, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the University of Pittsburgh, private investors and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG).
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse