Lowry Curley, Chief Executive Officer at AxoSim, a New Orleans based biotech startup, takes us on a thought-provoking journey through the major advances we are now seeing in drug development.
Curley is an entrepreneur with a keen interest in biotech. He has an extensive background in biomedical engineering and major experience in tissue engineering, product development, and drug development.
Curley’s biotech company seeks to leverage its unique Nerve-on-a-Chip™ technology to truly transform drug development. Curley discusses his company and how they are improving drug development. He states that animal models are actually terrible predictors for how drugs will work in humans, and drugs that are tested with animals end up failing for human use a shocking 94% of the time, after going through extensive testing. That’s a lot of work to end up with a drug that is essentially useless.
Animal biology is simply not human biology, and Curley’s company’s method is changing the whole process and creating models that will work.
Curley explains how they create models for drug testing, talking about how they take skin cells and turn them back into stem cells and then differentiate that into a nerve cell. They then engineer this into a three-dimensional environment, to directly mimic the interactions that a cell would experience in a human body.
Curley talks about their funding, NIH, and others. He discusses some of the cancer drugs on the market that they are taking a look at, in order to improve or understand better their limitations. By using the AxoSim methods they are able to better grasp why drugs work and understand the side effects that they produce, which can help the pharmaceutical industry craft superior drugs with hopefully fewer side effects.
Curley says that his company is scouring academia and new companies for similar tech, and they are acquiring some new startups in order to bring everything together so AxoSim can be the industry leader.
AxoSim’s innovative platform technology seeks to advance the efficacy, and safety, of novel therapeutics, which they believe will also help manage costs and bring important new drugs to the market.