PETA is proud to announce that biotech startup Emulate, Inc., is our 2014 Company of the Year.
Emulate launched in July with a mission of commercializing groundbreaking new “Organs-on-Chips” that are poised to replace the cruel and ineffective use of tens of millions of animals in disease experiments and cosmetics, chemical, and drug tests with cutting-edge research tools based on human biology.
Emulate’s game-changing technology, developed by Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, consists of a chip the size of a computer memory stick that combines real human cells and tissues to create a miniature device that accurately mimics the functioning of live human organs (even a breathing human lung!), models diseases, and tests ways to treat them.
Emulate’s mission is to make this lifesaving technology available to researchers around the world. The Harvard-led team behind Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips has developed 10 different models—including liver, gut, kidney, and bone marrow chips—and a system to link them together to replicate the physiology of an entire human.
Studies show that these chips more accurately reflect human physiology and how it responds to drugs and other substances than trying to induce diseases artificially in animals of a different species. The chips can also be used to screen large numbers of drugs and other chemicals for safety and effectiveness much faster and less expensively than by using animals. For all these reasons, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. military, major pharmaceutical companies, and even Sony are all making major investments in this technology.
According to Roger Kamm, a professor of biological and mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “This is going to revolutionize how pharmaceutical companies screen for drugs.”
PETA will send Emulate a letter of congratulations and a framed certificate and will encourage laboratories around the globe to emulate the company’s compassion.