Mån 24 jun / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

Liver expertise can provide safer drugs

Contract Research Organisation (CRO) D’Liver is built up by decades of research conducted by Prof. Bård Smedsrød related to the liver’s blood cleaning function, and in recent years medical treatment using biopharmaceuticals. More than 500 vital functions are traced to the liver, which makes it a very interesting starting point for any pharmaceutical project. D’Liver provides the necessary knowledge and expertise for safe and successful medical drug development.

D’Liver offers unique expertise in the preparation of highly purified hepatocytes, Kupffer cells and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. All three are used to determine how the liver works in relation to the presence of compounds, such as biopharmaceutical drugs.
The liver uptake and metabolism is of particular interest. Since it is relatively well known that the liver can inhibit the effect of some pharmaceuticals, it is of utmost interest to any pharmaceutical developer to gain insight in how the liver really works.
“Essentially, we make medicines safer by performing more targeted analysis of the liver and its functions in conjunction to novel drugs”, says D’Liver CEO Mari Nilsen.

A unique offer
D’Liver is so far the world’s only commercial organisation able to analyse the behaviour of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. Related research and similar tests are however carried out in various academic institutions. D’Liver has in some respects the advantage of operating closer to the market and some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical developers.
“The sinusoidal endothelial cells are active in the process of liver uptake and disposal of novel or unknown compounds. Understanding how this process works is a great advantage in pharmaceutical development”, explains Dr. Kjetil Elvevold, Senior Scientist at D’Liver.
Dr. Elvevold was in fact part of the team establishing D’Liver in 2011, together with Mari Nilsen and Professor Bård Smedsrød among others. In the beginning of 2013, the team was joined by a fourth member, Dr. Britt Fuglesteg, previously a lecturer in physiology and biochemistry at the University of Tromsø in Norway.

An important part of Scandinavian life science
D’Liver works closely with Big Pharma, but also with smaller developers, providing laboratory services, tailored products and expert knowledge in biotechnology and drug development.
Based on the company’s extensive liver expertise, personalised advice is offered on how to accelerate and improve the development of new chemical entities, with special emphasis on biopharmaceuticals. This makes D’Liver unique as a CRO, and a very important part of the Scandinavian life science industry.

Always one step ahead
“We strive to establish long-term collaborations across Scandinavia and eventually also across Europe and the rest of the world. As a result, we are a part of Medicon Valley Alliance, where we are able to share information on initiatives, innovation and networks regardless of where our laboratory facilities are located”, says Mari Nilsen.
“We operate in a highly international and very competitive environment and our goal is to always be one step ahead. Medicon Valley Alliance provides us with great opportunities to achieve this goal”, Kjetil Elvevold concludes.