R&D

In BLB we continuously work on new research projects with the ultimately goal of providing unique first-class pre-clinical research models to our clients.

Committed with the 3Rs principles

At BLB we are fully committed to the sustainable development of pre-clinical studies in hepatology. That's why we developed ExoLiver®, the first human liver-on-a-chip incorporating all major hepatic cell types where you can test the efficacy of new drug entities designed to beat liver diseases. However, we are aware that murine models are still essential to completely understand liver disease. Considering this, and with the aim of minimizing the use of animals, we have initiated a series of internal investigations to properly understand the possible differences in the pathophysiology and molecular signature of chronic liver disease comparing male and female rodents.

These studies, developed in collaboration with the Liver Vascular Biology Research Group of IDIBAPS, will be finalized by 2020 and will provide us with important information on the differences (if any) between both genders. Indeed, these data will allow us to clarify the necessity to maintain analyzes according to gender, or if we could mix genres and obtain a more representative population, in addition to reducing the total number of animals used.

Once finalized, we will disseminate the results of our R&D efforts in international conferences and also publish them in a specialized journal. With this we aim to contribute reducing the amount of experimental animals devoted to pre-clinical liver research, not only at a local level but globally.

Barcelona Liver Bioservices (BLB) is a CRO specialized in the field of Hepatology with an assorted portfolio of experimental models of liver disease. If after surfing our website you have questions or want to contact us, please do not hesitate. We will be happy to explain the models of chronic liver disease, NASH, transplant or regeneration that we always have available, and the way we envision liver research.

BARNA MODEL®

Hepatic steatosis can progress to a more severe form of fatty liver disease, called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In humans, livers with steatohepatitis exhibit steatosis, inflammation, hepatocyte injury and fibrosis. In a more advanced situation, it can progress to NASH-derived cirrhosis with significant fibrosis and portal hypertension. It is recognized that NASH-derived cirrhosis is a burden of disease in our Society, with no therapeutic option available.

In BLB we are truly conscious about the lack of a proper pre-clinical model to study the pathophysiology of NASH, and to test new biopharmaceutical compounds for this serious disease. For that, we invested significant part of our R&D efforts to develop and validate a pre-clinical rat model for NASH: the BarNa model.

This model, based in a multi-hit strategy that combines diet-induced obesity and exposure to inflammatory injuries, shows reproducible results in terms of mimicking the key pathobiological features observed in human NASH: hepatocyte ballooning, inflammation, advanced fibrosis and significant portal hypertension. In addition, transcriptomic analysis of livers from BarNa animals using RNA seq evidenced high similarity with the human NASH transcriptomic profile.

The BarNa model was presented to the hepatology community in the annual meetings of the AASLD-2017 and EASL-2018, moreover its scientific quality and high applicability was recognized in the work entitled “New Rat Model of Advanced NASH Mimicking Pathophysiological Features and Transcriptomic Signature of The Human Disease” published in the peer-reviewed journal Cells.