The REDIzone

Research, Entrepreneurship, Discovery & Innovation Zone

Pharmaceutical Proof of Concept Center

Researcher holding a chip

The REDIzone Pharmaceutical Proof of Concept Center at Northeast Ohio Medical University supports small- to medium-sized drug development companies in accelerating their therapies toward human clinical trials. Funded in part by an i6 Challenge award from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies program, and supported by the Timken Foundation of Canton, the Center utilizes advanced predictive toxicology organ-on-chip technology to identify the optimal drug candidate for preclinical and clinical testing.

Researcher holding a chipOrgan on Chip System

The REDIzone Pharmaceutical Proof of Concept Center uses the Nortis ParVivo system for human micro-organ drug discovery research, first introduced to the market in 2015 creating unique 3D tissue microenvironments for enhanced drug testing.

The Organ-on-Chip system utilizes human-derived cells to provide insight into toxicological effects of pharmaceuticals and advance the understanding of drug mechanisms to reduce the risk of harmful new drugs making onto the marketplace.

The Nortis system will provide companies advanced knowledge on how well their drug will perform in humans and save precious time and money conducting preclinical research on drug candidates that have little promise of achieving FDA approval.

CX5 High Content Screener

The CX5 offers researchers an accurate method for obtaining high-resolution images and quantifying molecular and cellular content in real time. Researchers customize a protocol by manipulating multiple variables that can be tweaked to identify and validate the specific focus of analysis. Other advantages are that the analysis can be at a cellular level or on biomolecular mechanisms of action, viewing sensitivity and resolution can be optimized through a selection of removable lenses, and results can be displayed as images, numerical data, or both.

The CellInsight CX5 High-Content Screener’s (HCS) fully-automated capabilities include reading and analyzing 96-well plates (in less than four minutes) as well as 384- and 1,536-well plates, and alternately, singular analysis of slides. Features include a 5-channel solid-state LED light engine; a Photometrics X1 camera;5-channel fluorescent widefield imaging, white light brightfield imaging; single-position objective ranging from 2x-20x, low and high NA; and software focus via HCS Studio software for integrated data collection and analysis.

The CX5 HCS was provided from a generous gift from the Timken Foundation of Canton.

About EDA i6

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awards grants through its Regional Innovation Strategies Program with the goal of strengthening the ability to move from innovative ideas to job growth.


Jordan Walker
Entrepreneurial Program Specialist