Organovo is a huge bioprinting firm and just after announcing the successful 3D printing of kidney cells, it has now decided to add 3D printed skin to its portfolio of printable organ tissues. The company has signed research collaboration with L’Oreal USA products.
This agreement provides L’Oreal exclusive rights to the models for use in the research and production of its own non perspiration beauty and skin care products. But, Organovo still can sell its skin tissues for the use in pharmaceutical testing and surgical transplants. The partnership will go through three different phrases that is the initial development of the 3D printed skin tissue models then validation and then finally commercial supply.
At every point, L’Oreal will hand over its cash in the form of upfront payments and payments for the deliverables from Organovo. Organovo has been in 3D printing of human tissues from long as a means for avoiding animal testing in research. Another main reason is to speed up the delivery of new drugs to the market through the use of human tissue models. This allowed L’Oreal to manufacture cosmetic ingredients which when manufactured in China required animal testing for cosmetics development, while maintaining an animal friendly image.
However, last year that Chinese law was overturned. This new partnership now could allow the company to expand its own EpiSkin human tissue modeling research so that it may continue performing skin irritation test, without relying on ingredients previously tested in China. What’s interesting about this agreement is its exclusivity, giving hint that L’Oreal may be able to tout the fact that its products are tested on 3D printed skin. So, now it may able to limit animal testing in its own company, it will limit the ability of other companies to use 3D printed tissues to test their products.