Skip main navigation

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Assays

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, have become a key focus for Pharma in recent years.  Our scientists have extensive experience with efficacy, contractility, safety, ex vivo cultures, and ADME assays using intestinal tissue. We can access tissues from patients suffering from IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to investigate drug effects on intestinal permeability and inflammation.

Meet clinical needs in IBD research

The incidence of IBD is increasing and there is a clinical need for safer, more precise IBD treatments. However, failure to predict the safety and efficacy of drugs during preclinical research means that attrition rates are high. REPROCELL offers the most clinically relevant IBD assay on the market, which uses human tissue donated by real IBD patients. Our living tissue model captures the heterogeneous landscape of IBD by combining drug efficacy data with a medical history of each human donor.

More scientists would like to use human tissue in their research. However, poor biobanking infrastructure and technical difficulties present significant barriers. Through our global network of biorepositories, we can access a frequent supply of high-quality intestinal tissues from Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) patients. They are then maintained for 24-hours in our ex vivo culture system, where they can be exposed to a variety of novel and standard-of-care drugs.

Why use human tissues instead of traditional animal models?

  • Avoid species differences
  • Increase therapeutic relevance
  • Improve understanding of IBD pathology
  • Proof of concept in diseased human tissues
  • Reduce late-stage failures
  • Strengthen IND submissions
  • Explore complex cell interactions in whole tissue

07AUG20 ibd colitis intestine histology microscopy-1Microscope histological image of IBD colitis intestine

Five reasons to choose our Human IBD Fresh Tissue Assay:

  1. Access the only commercially available assay using intact, living human tissues.
  2. Add commercial value by demonstrating efficacy in tissues from your target patient group.
  3. Identify lead test agents with likelihood of success in patients.
  4. Compare your test agents to current standard of care drugs.
  5. Combine with REPROCELL’s molecular biology services to relate phenotype to genotype.

Functional validation of healthy and diseased tissues

As part of our functional validation, biopsies are screened for inflammatory mediators commonly upregulated in IBD.



 Figure 1: In this example, over 40 inflammatory mediators were measured to investigate the cytokine release profiles in healthy and diseased tissue. The disease group showed greatly increased levels of a range of key cytokines and chemokines commonly upregulated in IBD, including IL-17α, IFNγ and IL-12p70.

Figure 2: Intestinal biopsies were obtained from 3 UC patients. Following an 18-hour culture period, TNFα release was measured across a wide concentration range of the test agent Doramapimod (see graph). Differences in response were evident across patient samples, suggesting variation in the UC patient population, as is known to occur clinically.

Relate drug response to clinical history


“Biopta’s human tissue services have played a critical part in our compound selection and have added considerable value to our lead compound”

— President & Head of R&D, Canadian Biotech

What is included in our IBD predictive drug discovery services?

  • A customized project to meet your research goals.
  • An expert Study Director assigned to manage each project as your single point of contact from initiation to report.
  • Rapid access to human healthy and diseased tissues, through our industry-leading human tissue
  • GLP projects available.
  • Ownership of all data generated during the project.

Explore our IBD Assays