3D Systems company Systemic Bio has opened its new lab in Houston, Texas, for hydrogel scaffold-manufacturing and organ-on-a-chip research and development (R&D) to speed up drug discovery and development.

Situated in the TMC Innovation Factory Labs on the Texas Medical Center Campus in Houston, this facility features a cleanroom for bioprinted hydrogel manufacturing.

Systemic Bio engineers and scientists will continue the development and production of its h-VIOS (human vascularized integrated organ systems) organ-on-a-chip platform.

On the organ-on-a-chip platform, the h-VIOS can recapitulate many organ and disease functions.

Made up of vascularized hydrogel scaffolds, this platform allows the survival and function of both diseased and healthy human cells, in addition to the delivery of drugs to these cells in a more physiological way.

With the establishment and further validation of this system, pharmaceutical companies get the opportunity to significantly cut down the high costs and time needed to launch new drugs to market.

This facility will enable the production of h-VIOS chips and plates under sterile and quality-controlled conditions, to be used by the firm’s pharmaceutical partners in drug testing.

Systemic Bio appointed Jeremy Carter as its vice president of operations.

Carter comes with over ten years of experience with GMP and FDA-regulated biopharmaceutical production at biotech companies Grail and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Systemic Bio CEO Taci Pereira said: “The opening of this facility is a fantastic milestone in Systemic Bio’s journey to accelerate drug discovery and development and a leap forward for the field of bioprinting.

“With cutting-edge Print-to-Perfusion bioprinting technology from 3D Systems, our new cleanroom and an exceptional team of scientists and engineers, we can now manufacture patterned sterile hydrogel scaffolds for commercial use with unprecedented precision, quality, and scalability.

“This marks a pivotal shift for bioprinting – going from experimental research to full-scale production. The h-VIOS platform is just the beginning of what we can unlock in the biotech industry with this new capability, and we look forward to continuing to partner with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to pursue these new opportunities.”

Systemic Bio is working on forming multi-year partnerships with pharma firms, which could leverage the h-VIOS platform to discover new drugs.