reSOLVE the underlying cause of disease using human stem cell models with the aim of improving drug development

The objective of reSOLVE is to use human stem cell models of disease to find new therapies diseases that are currently untreatable.

The development of new therapeutic drugs is extremely challenging. Not only is it slow and costly. It is also very risky. Most drugs do not make it to the people who need them. In fact, 96 percent of the drugs fail clinical trials and never reach the market.

reSOLVE aims to improve the success of the drug discovery pipeline, cut the cost, and speed up the process of developing new drugs, so that stem cell-based medicine can improve the health of people globally.

To achieve this, reSOLVE focuses on using stem cell-based models of human tissue to better understand how diseases affect the systems of the body, causing functional changes that can lead to health consequences.

reSOLVE’s targeted research includes the production of three-dimensional models of human mini-organs – referred to as organoids – made from stem cells in the laboratory. This will allow us to screen for drugs to treat conditions such as chronic skin damage, as well as inherited kidney and heart disease.

The ability to use patient stem cell-derived tissues makes it possible to test the efficacy of a drug in a personalised fashion. This paves the way for more accurate and targeted treatments.

Why new therapies generally fail

There are two major limitations in drug discovery methods:

  1. Animal models do not always reflect how our human bodies work or respond.
  2. Traditional cell culture models, many of which are not based on human cells, do not accurately represent the complexity of a living organism.

There is therefore an urgent need for new models that better reflect human biology in both normal and diseased states. Additionally, there are many inherited and acquired diseases where no treatment options exist, or when they do, provide a poor quality of life.

Stem cell biology presents a unique opportunity to model human diseases in a variety of tissue types.

How reNEW impact new therapies

Stem cell science presents a unique opportunity to model human diseases in a variety of tissue types. Such stem cell models will help us to better understand the cause of genetic disorders, cancers, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Importantly, by combining stem cell modelling of different tissues with technological advances in genetic engineering we hope to revolutionize the process of drug development.

Our research pipeline includes pilot projects that will develop and validate stem cell-derived tissue models of human disease to understand disease mechanisms more accurately. It also includes new treatments through the screening of stem-cell derived tissues. Such compounds will reduce the cost of drug development and improve the success rate because they can be screened for toxicity, safety, and efficacy, bypassing the animal models currently used.

Theme lead

Professor

Christine L. Mummery

Professor Christine Mummery is one of the founders of stem cell medicine in the Netherlands. Her work focuses on understanding cardiovascular development and disease mechanisms, ultimately hoping to find personalized treatments for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
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Professor

Christine L. Mummery

Professor Christine Mummery is one of the founders of stem cell medicine in the Netherlands. Her work focuses on understanding cardiovascular development and disease mechanisms, ultimately hoping to find personalized treatments for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
See more

Discover the 4 other research themes of reNEW