Very Personalized Healthcare from 3 of TEDMED’s Hive Companies

Personalized medicine – one of the most important and promising trends in the medical world – tailors treatments to the unique characteristics, genes, and lifestyle of each individual. It’s a fast-moving field, full of innovation and boundary-pushing breakthroughs. This November at TEDMED, The Hive will feature three companies that are helping to accelerate the personalized application to healthcare, each using a very different approach.

Emulate’s “Organs-on-chips.” President and Chief Scientific Officer Geraldine Hamilton says this will soon be followed by a new version, “You on a Chip,” which will provide truly personalized predictive technology.

Emulate Inc. puts living human cells in micro-engineered environments as a way to examine how diseases, medicines, chemicals and even foods will affect health. Their Organs-on-Chips technology predicts human response with greater accuracy and precision than either animal or lab testing because it allows for control of all critical aspects of a living cellular environment, such as tissue stretching, blood flow, breathing etc. As a result, Emulate can advance product testing, design and safety across a range of applications including drug development, agriculture, cosmetics and personalized health. Emulate is now developing “You on a Chip,” using the same technology with individual stem cells to accelerate progress toward a whole new level of individualized healthcare.

InSCyT’s bedside drug-manufacturing system isn’t quite small enough to carry around “in a backpack” but it’s truly portable says founder J. Christopher Love, associate professor in chemical engineering at MIT.

Thanks to the InSCyT (Integrated and Scalable CytoTechnolgoy) platform, we’ll soon have the ability to manufacture bespoke biological drugs in small quantities on demand, anywhere. With applications ranging from battlefield medicine to treatment of orphan diseases, InSCyT will impact health globally as well as on the very personal level. The concept began as a conversation about “what if you could make any medicine you wanted for a patient right at their bedside?” The MIT-led team has already built a portable prototype that, in under 48 hours, can produce dose-scale quantities (ranging from tens to thousands) of drugs like insulin, vaccines, hormones and cancer medications of a quality comparable to approved pharmaceuticals.

A customized drug-delivery device for self-administration of biologic drugs made by Recon Therapeutics, a startup whose culture is best described as “clutch” by Co-Founder Christopher Lee.

Recon Therapeutics used rapid prototyping and 3D printing technology to create its “one-stop shop” for self-administered biologic drugs. The LyoKit Disposable Reconstitution System has many important advantages over existing self-administered medications, making treatments easier for patients. Built from off-the-shelf components, it bypasses the need for refrigeration, can easily be customized for many different drugs, and (because it’s so simple) minimizes the likelihood of user error. The LyoKit also solves key challenges of personalized biologic medications, including unique solubility requirements, unreliable dosing and low patient compliance – freeing up patients taking these drugs to live their lives without fretting over how to take their medicine.