Emulate, a provider of next generation in vitro models, has secured $82m in Series E financing to support the development of new human-relevant organ-on-a-chip models.

Led by existing investor Northpond Ventures, the financing round saw participation from Perceptive Advisors.

With the latest financing, the company’s total funding reached up to $225m to date.

Northpond Ventures co-founder and partner Sharon Kedar said: “We believe Emulate’s transformative technology is poised to accelerate innovation in the drug discovery and development process.

“Our ongoing investment in Emulate reflects our confidence that organ-on-a-chip technology will be a key solution for preclinical testing of therapeutic compounds.”

Emulate is involved in the development and manufacturing of next-generation in vitro models, which allow researchers to replicate and study human biology and disease.

The models are believed to help researchers understand and predict drug response with better precision and detail than possible with conventional cell culture or animal-based methods.

Emulate’s Organ-on-a-chip technology offers flexible microenvironments consisting of tiny hollow channels lined with living cells and tissues, which can be subjected to mechanical forces that mirror breathing or digestion in the human body.

For enhanced understanding of the biology of human disease, the technology is used by academic researchers, government entities, and multiple pharmaceutical companies.

Emulate will use the proceeds from the financing round to significantly scale-up its research and development activities to support the development of new human-relevant organ-on-a-chip models in immunology, neuroinflammation and tumour modelling.

The company is also expanding its operations in the Asia Pacific region with two new distributors.

Emulate CEO Jim Corbett said: “Over the last year, we have bolstered our leadership team, accelerated product development goals, and seen healthy growth in demand for our products.

“Several leading indicators validate our belief that organ-on-a-chip technology will dramatically transform the entire drug discovery and development pipeline and ultimately eliminate unnecessary animal testing.”