The past decade has seen the implementation of 3D cell cultures in early drug discovery, driven by the need to accelerate novel therapies and biomarkers for patients. Together with better cell models such as stem cells and primary cells, 3D cultures enable greater predictability of efficacy and toxicity in humans before prior to clinical trials which, in turn, would lower the attrition rate of new molecular medicines under development.

The 3D co-culture models are advantageous in that they not only enable drug safety and efficacy assessment in a more in vivo–like context than traditional 2D cell cultures but also eliminate the species differences that often impede interpretation of the pre-clinical outcomes by allowing drug testing directly in human systems.