Biopta is able to access almost all regions of the GI tract including stomach and the small and large intestine. As with most other tissue types, tissue is available from both healthy and diseased individuals and tissues are available from patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Our gastrointestinal assays allow Biopta to investigate the effects of drugs on the human gastrointestinal system in a number of ways, including:

  • Gut motility
  • Gut permeability
  • Inflammatory responses
  • Ion channel function

Safety/Adverse effects

Biopta is able to assess the preponderance of human GI adverse effects using fresh human tissues and can make comparisons to effects in preclinical species in order to understand the translational from animals to humans.

Unwanted effects on the GI tract can also be detected using our human tissue models. Effects on permeability can be assessed using our Ussing Chamber methodology. It is also possible to determine the effects of your test compound on the enteric nervous system or ‘mini-brain’, as this is where much of the regulation of the GI tract occurs. Our organ bath model can therefore be used to determine adverse effects on the gut motility. Inflammation of the gut is also a regular unwanted side effect of many test compounds, which can be detected using our mucosal organoculture model.

Maintenance of drug therapies is driven to a large extent by the existence of adverse effects that deter patients from complying with regimens. For example, a major issue with treatments for Alzheimer's disease is the gastrointestinal effect of anti-acetylcholinesterases such as Galantamine, which increase cholinergic activity in the brain but may also do so in the GI tract (see graph below).

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The GI tract is a huge target for pharmaceutical development and Biopta is able to provide efficacy information on treatments designed to affect changes in motility, inflammation or drug absorption.

Inflammation of the mucosa is a defining feature of many GI disorders, most notably Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Biopta can secure tissue from these patients and using our ex vivo culture model we are able to examine production of cytokines or other endogenous mediators at baseline level and in response to your test compounds.

Prediction of gut permeability is also possible using human small intestinal tissue. Rather than use the Caco-2 cell line which can be inaccurate when used to predict the absorption of test compounds that are actively or poorly absorbed by the gut, Biopta uses the small intestinal mucosa to determine permeability or bioavailability using the Ussing chamber.


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