Organovo, a San Diego based 3D bioprinting company, have decided to introduce 3D printed skin tissue models. The company has got in to a Research Collaboration Agreement with L’Oreal USA Products, Inc.. The agreement iterates that Organovo and L’Oreal will be responsible for development of skin tissue models and L’Oreal will hold the exclusive rights to utilize the skin tissue models for several R&D purposes such as development, manufacturing, testing and other R&D purposes of its own products. However Organovo has retained the rights to sell its tissue models for its various pharmaceutical & testing purposes.
The agreement, again, has 3 phases – development phase, a validation phase and a commercial supply phase. And L’Oreal has certain set performance criteria, only with the help of which L’Oreal will decide whether to move forward and continue with the next phase or not.
L’Oreal will be giving upfront payments for its development and validation phase and payments for other deliverables from Organovo. The company is yet to negotiate on Organovo’s exclusive commercial supply of the tissue models, including customary licensing and royalty terms.But nothing specific has been disclosed regarding the commercial terms.
Organovo’s initiative will be instrumental in reducing (till nullifying) the use of animal skin for testing. Even L’Oreal claims that it “no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others.” The company, however, states that “[a]n exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.”
A 3D printed skin tissue modeling is the first step as a benevolent and an eco-friendly alternative to testing on animal. However holding the exclusive rights will limit other companies from having such testings done on the skin tissue!!! We, at think3D hope that soon there should be an appropriate solution to this issue. At the same time we do welcome with open heart this type of innovation. Now from benefiting humans, 3D printing is evidently benefiting animal kingdom too.