We need better models of human physiology – the mouse is not a human and dialysis is not a kidney. It’s time to bioengineer a change. Indeed, if we are to build new solutions that catalyze a Health Age, we need 10x, scalable, transformations in the underlying time, cost, and efficiency of finding new solutions. Historically, fundamental advances in these parameters have exploded the number of innovators and the pace of innovation in fields as diverse as semiconductors, software, and genome sequencing.
HOPE aims to leverage the power of bioengineering to advance stem cells, organoids, and whole organ systems and connections that recapitulate human physiology in vitro and restore vital functions in vivo.
HOPE has two goals:
1. Bioengineer a multiorgan platform that recreates human immunological responses with sufficient fidelity to double the predictive value of a preclinical trial with respect to efficacy, toxicity and immunogenicity for therapeutic interventions targeting cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
2. Demonstrate the advances necessary to restore organ functions using cultivated organs or biological/synthetic hybrid systems that would result in a doubling of the 5-year survival rate of patients on replacement therapy or awaiting organ transplantation and point to a fully transplantable, non-rejected, human organ within 10 years.
Wellcome Leap is soliciting abstracts and proposals for work over 3 years (with a potential additional one-year option) in one or more of 5 thrust areas, which are described in detail in the full program announcement. Proposers should clearly relate work in these thrust areas to one or more of the program goals:
1) Human Cell Survival, Expansion and Identity
2) Immune System: Structure & Function
3) Tissue/Organ Maturation, Scalability & Standardization
4) Tissue/Organ Vascularization and Resident Immunity
5) System Demonstrations