Jun 20, 2018

Startup raises $36 million for alternative to lab animal testing

Photo by Kirill Kukhmar/TASS via Getty Images

Emulate, a Boston-based developer of "organs-on-chips," raised $36 million in new venture capital funding led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund.

Why it's a big deal: Because this technology could reduce the large number of animals used each year in pharmaceutical lab testing, without sacrificing efficacy.

  • Emulate currently has partnerships with such drug-makers as AstraZeneca, Merck, Roche, Takeda and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Other investors in the "Series C" round include ALS Investment Fund, SciFi VC and Glass Wall Syndicate.

More detail from Xconomy's Frank Vinluan:

"The translucent Emulate chips, roughly the size of a AA battery, have tiny channels lined with human cells and tissue. These chips are engineered to recreate the physiology and mechanical forces encountered by the cells of an organ, such as the flow of blood or air. Emulate has developed organ chips for the liver, intestine, lung, and the brain. Those chips are part of a broader system that includes instruments for conducting experiments and software to analyze data and model different diseases."

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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S.

The big picture: About half the planet's population is now on lockdown and the global death toll was nearing 64,800, by Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 8,500 in the U.S. early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest" time "between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said U.S. deaths are expected to continue to rise during this period.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health