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Organovo Collaborates With University of Virginia to Develop Bioprinted Tissues for Volumetric Muscle Loss Injury

SAN DIEGO, May 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Organovo Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONVO) (“Organovo”), a three-dimensional biology company focused on delivering scientific and medical breakthroughs using its 3D bioprinting technology, today announced a collaboration with the University of Virginia to develop 3D bioprinted tissues for volumetric muscle loss (“VML”) injury. The research will take place in the laboratory of George J. Christ, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and orthopaedic surgery at UVA.

VML injuries occur in military and civilian populations, often as a result of trauma and life-saving surgery.  VML can also be caused by congenital or acquired diseases.  When VML injury occurs, the muscle’s natural ability to regenerate cannot overcome the severe damage resulting in permanent functional and cosmetic deficits.  There are limited treatments currently available for these patients, which include surgical options that are largely ineffective and have poor cosmetic outcomes.  There remains a great need for improved therapies that provide a more complete approach to regeneration of the injured muscle.
  
“Collaborations that bring together Organovo’s 3D bioprinting platform and top-notch research serve as a catalyst for the development of innovative treatments that meet critical unmet needs," said Eric David, M.D., J.D., chief strategy officer and executive vice president of preclinical development, Organovo.  “Combining the expertise in muscle regeneration of Dr. Christ’s lab and University of Virginia with Organovo’s expertise in constructing human tissues is an important step towards helping patients and families who have been calling for solutions in volumetric muscle loss.”

The Christ lab has conducted extensive studies in regeneration and advancement of biomaterials.  It is part of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, which brings together a consortium including UVA and nearly 100 other partners from industry, government, academia and the non-profit sector.  The placement of an Organovo printer in this consortium will provide the institute an important technology to aide in achieving their goal of manufacturing human tissues and organs for therapeutic use.

“Current treatment for volumetric muscle loss injury is limited to surgical transfers of the patient’s muscle from a healthy site to the injured site.  However, these treatments are associated with poor engraftment of the transferred muscle and can cause death of tissue at the healthy site,” said Dr. Christ.  “We believe with the use of Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technology we could quickly develop a more complex and physiologically relevant bioengineered muscle prototype for preclinical testing.  Accomplishing this goal would be a huge step in accelerating the therapeutic applications of bioprinted muscle tissues and providing a much needed treatment to those suffering from volumetric muscle loss.”

The UVA collaboration is one of multiple 3D bioprinter placements that Organovo has with the world’s leading government and academic research institutions.

About Organovo Holdings, Inc.

Organovo designs and creates functional, three-dimensional human tissues for use in medical research and therapeutic applications.  The Company develops 3D human tissue models through internal development and in collaboration with pharmaceutical, academic and other partners.  Organovo's 3D human tissues have the potential to accelerate the drug discovery process, enabling treatments to be developed faster and at lower cost.  The Company’s ExVive Human Liver and Kidney Tissues are used in toxicology and other preclinical drug testing.  The Company also actively conducts early research on specific tissues for therapeutic use in direct surgical applications.  In addition to numerous scientific publications, the Company's technology has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Economist, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets.  Organovo is changing the shape of life science research and transforming medical care.  Learn more at www.organovo.com.    

About the University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is distinctive among public institutions of higher education.  Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University continues in its mission to develop tomorrow’s leaders who are well prepared to help shape the future of the nation and the world. 

The University of Virginia is made up of eleven schools in Charlottesville, including the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine, plus the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia.

For 2017, the University was ranked the No. 2 best public university by U.S. News and World Report.  In the 18 years since U.S. News began ranking public universities as a separate category, UVA has ranked in the top three and continues to rank in the Top 30 among the best of all national universities, public and private.

Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties.  The factors that could cause the Company's actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the Company's ability to develop, market and sell products and services based on its technology; the expected benefits and efficacy of the Company's products, services and technology; the Company’s ability to successfully complete studies and provide the technical information required to support market acceptance of its products, services and technology, on a timely basis or at all; the Company's business, research, product development, regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and strategies, including its use of third party distributors; the Company's ability to successfully complete the contracts and recognize the revenue represented by the contracts included in its previously reported total contract bookings and secure additional contracted collaborative relationships; the final results of the Company's preclinical studies may be different from the Company's studies or interim preclinical data results and may not support further clinical development of its therapeutic tissues; the Company may not successfully complete the required preclinical and clinical trials required to obtain regulatory approval for its therapeutic tissues on a timely basis or at all; and the Company’s ability to meet its fiscal year 2017 outlook and/or its long-range outlook.  These and other factors are identified and described in more detail in the Company's filings with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on June 9, 2016 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on February 9, 2017.  You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made.  These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that the Company may issue in the future.  Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, the Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. 

Investor Contact:
Steve Kunszabo
Organovo Holdings, Inc.
+1 (858) 224-1092
skunszabo@organovo.com

Press Contact:
Jessica Yingling
Little Dog Communications
+1 (858) 344-8091
jessica@litldog.com  

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Organovo, Inc.
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