Proefdiervrij (animal-free) edition of the Venture Challenge 2023

Today the special Proefdiervrij (animal-free) edition of the Venture Challenge has started. In this Venture Challenge four teams participate with innovations that have the potential to reduce or replace animal testing.

In the challenge, the four teams of animal-free researchers are guided in setting up their own company, transforming their scientific breakthrough within the life sciences into a well-thought-out business case. This is how stichting Proefdiervrij aims to increase the impact of animal-free research and accelerate the transition to a world without the use of laboratory animals.

One of the teams is Chippoids and is a research team from UMC Utrecht. Chippoids is developing a unique multi-organ-on-chip system of the kidney and liver, for which the researchers use human organoids, and at the same time they are also developing a bloodvessel-on-a-chip. With these advanced models, researchers can develop disease models and drug efficacy and safety can be investigated based on human biology. This will ultimately lead to better translation of drug research to humans. And as a result, fewer laboratory animals will be needed for this kind of research.

We wish Bas van Balkom, Assistant Professor at UMC Utrecht, Christian van Dijk, post-doc at UMC Utrecht and Tjeerd van Dijk, Business Developer at Utrecht Holdings the best of luck!