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Organovo and Viscient Biosciences Collaborate to Develop Custom Research Platform for Studying Liver Disease

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Organovo Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONVO) (“Organovo”) and Viscient Biosciences (“Viscient”) today announced a collaboration to develop a custom research platform for studying liver disease.  The partnership is expected to expand upon Organovo’s current service portfolio for compound screening in disease models, which aids the drug discovery work of the Company’s customers.  Viscient is targeting early discovery work for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (“NAFLD”) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”). 

“We continue to have excellent traction with a wide range of biopharmaceutical companies in evaluating our tissue systems to facilitate the discovery and development of novel drug candidates to treat liver disease,” said Taylor J. Crouch, CEO, Organovo.  “Our 3D disease models have the unique capability to demonstrate drug mechanisms of action and efficacy in a setting that closely mimics human livers.  We’re proud to collaborate with Viscient’s talented team as they have a strong understanding of our expertise.  Our aim is to establish a custom platform that will support high-value drug profiling, and ultimately move our collaboration into a steady-state relationship.”     

“Viscient is a strong believer in unlocking the power of 3D bioprinting to bring cures and treatments to patients with few options today,” said Keith Murphy, CEO, Viscient Biosciences.  “In our pursuit of breakthrough therapies in important areas of medicine, we’re eager to tap into novel, complex and more accurate disease models.  Organovo’s technology provides the potential for valuable and unprecedented insights as we target new drugs in areas of unmet medical need and strong commercial potential.”

Deteriorating liver function is a growing and serious public health concern, with an estimated 100 million adults in the U.S. afflicted with NAFLD, while up to 20 million more Americans are projected to have NASH.  Left unchecked, these diseases can progress to cirrhosis and cancer, with NASH being the second leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S.  Despite decades of intense research worldwide, the understanding of NAFLD progression and the development of novel therapeutic approaches have been limited by the lack of advanced systems that mimic human liver biology over an extended period of time.

About Organovo Holdings, Inc.

Organovo designs and creates functional, three-dimensional human tissues for use in drug discovery, clinical development, and therapeutic applications.  The Company develops 3D human tissue systems through internal research programs and in collaboration with pharmaceutical, academic and other partners.  Organovo's 3D human tissues have the potential to transform the drug discovery process, enabling treatments to be developed more effectively and with greater relevance to performance in human trials and commercialization.  The Company’s ExVive™ Human Liver and Kidney Tissues are used in high-value drug profiling, including compound screening in disease models, toxicology, target and marker discovery/validation, and other drug testing.  The Company is also advancing a preclinical program to develop liver therapeutic tissues for critical unmet medical needs, including certain life-threatening pediatric diseases.  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 Viscient Biosciences
Viscient Biosciences is a San Diego-based biotech company focused on utilizing 3D culture technology to develop drugs across a range of therapeutic areas.  Founded by a combination of former Organovo and Ardea Biosciences scientists and entrepreneurs, Viscient is initially conducting discovery and development work in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (“NAFLD”) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”).  Utilizing newly available three dimensional biology technologies, we explore biology in a previously unavailable context, leading to a better understanding of disease and an improved opportunity to impact patients.  Learn more at www.viscientbiosciences.com.

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.  Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s ability to establish a custom platform that will support high-value drug profiling, and move into a steady-state relationship with Viscient. 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 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; the Company’s ability to control the costs and to achieve the expected operational benefits and long- term cost savings of its previously announced restructuring plan; and the Company’s ability to meet its fiscal year 2018 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 7, 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

Organovo, Inc.
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