Precision Medicine Assays Personalized Medicine

Sphera Platform

The SpheraTM platform combines PBA’s innovative organoid cell culture technology with proprietary analytics to provide multiple measures of drug efficacy in a personalized and biologically-relevant model system. Each organoid is composed of differentiated epithelial cells, including goblet cells that fill the interior of the organoid with mucus. We analyze multiple features of each organoid such as size, cilia activity, mucus properties and mucus movement, and track how these features change in response to drug treatment.

Recently, we have developed custom software (OrgSwellTM) to more efficiently measure organoid size. We are able to perform these measurements 120 times faster and 57% more accurately than competing methods.

Sphera shows a robust positive correlation with standard clinical endpoints and clinical results. The quality of our measurements allows us to identify subtle differences in efficacy between similar drugs, as well as different concentrations of the same drug.

The Sphera assay is ideal for preclinical studies and Phase I and Phase II clinical studies.



PBA’s VESTM assay uses nanoparticles to measure the viscoelasticity of sputum. Sputum is the combination of mucus and saliva that is produced in the lungs during many pulmonary diseases. As pulmonary diseases progress, sputum production increases and the physical properties of sputum change, becoming thicker and more heterogeneous. Such thick, excess sputum is difficult to clear from the airways and serves as a perfect home for inhaled bacteria, increasing the likelihood of serious infection. By monitoring how the properties of sputum change, PBA can gauge how sick an individual is, or the degree to which they have responded to a particular drug.

The VES assay is ideal for use in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials and preclinical testing of drugs that are expected to have an impact on sputum properties.

Drug Screening Assays in Vitro Mucus Sputum