Virtual liver product by IISc professor, patented in US


The virtual liver—a ready-to-use software simulation—mimics normal liver functions and generates likely outcomes of new drugs before the drugliver-illustration is tested on animals and humans.

Strand Life Sciences, founded by professors at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, was awarded a patent in the US in 2014 for its two-year-old virtual liver. This product is highly used by pharmaceuticals companies across the world to test new drug toxicity in the liver.
In 2007, Strand began work on the virtual liver, which falls under the consulting business vertical, and applied for patent rights in 2011. The virtual liver allows the pharmaceutical industry to reduce the number, time, and expenditure associated with animal and human trials and yet is able to understand the side effects of drugs on the liver.

This product is a combination of simulation along with experimental methods to predict toxicity early on .This simulation is made on a rat model and a human model and based on their outcomes it will be known how a drug will react.

Industry estimates suggest that nearly 50% of new drugs fail to pass through the clinical trial stage as the drugs are shown to have side effects, in particular, toxicity issues. Of that, 60% of the cases relate to liver injuries, given that the liver is responsible for flushing out toxins from the body.

“The software will also be awarded patent rights in the European region shortly,” said Kalyanasundaram Subramanian, chief scientific officer of Bangalore-based Strand Life Sciences.

Subramanian said though the company’s hands were full, “going forward if we do anything like virtual liver we would look at the cardiac segment because that’s another major area of toxicity.”

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