Joint Fraunhofer project FibroPaths®

Market analysis and business model for novel test procedure for the development of fibrosis drugs

Causal treatment of organ fibrosis – a pathological proliferation of connective tissue, for instance in the lungs, heart or liver – has been almost impossible up until now. In the FibroPaths® project, four Fraunhofer Institutes: Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS, Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS and Fraunhofer IMW have joined forces to facilitate preclinical testing of antifibrotic drugs and consequently the development of fibrosis medication by developing a biochip.

Organ fibrosis can be triggered by various factors, such as an infection, autoimmune disease, ischemia, exposure to toxic substances, or pro-fibrotic metabolic disorders. They usually develop in a long-term process. Another problem is that findings from animal models are difficult to transfer to real fibrotic events in humans.

The aim of the joint Fraunhofer project FibroPaths® is to develop a new preclinical test system for antifibrotic drug development. The basis of the test system will be a standardized, automated biochip containing human tissue, which resembles the actual situation in humans much more. This will allow to bypass animal testing. In addition, the project will perform comprehensive functional and molecular data analyses using methods supported by artificial intelligence and build a database.