Top 5 Innovators to Watch

In 2023, CCS began evaluating more than 180 companies and organizations developing or working with human-relevant technology for biomedical research and drug development. These companies and more can now be found in our Innovation Landscape. The companies CCS evaluates includes pharmaceutical, in vitro, in silico, and chemical companies. CCS holds no monetary or compensatory connections with the entities considered. 


CCS determined 4 criteria to identify the top 5 companies we believe have the most significant impact on human-relevant research thus far and should be watched in the upcoming year. These criteria consider the diverse ways companies and organizations in this space can be impactful for the future of human, animal, and environmental health. 


1. Community Recognition 

A key part of a paradigm shift is the accumulated body of knowledge of the technology to support this shift. Animal testing is viewed as the “gold standard because it is the testing method that people have used for the majority of medical research for decades. Part of the continued acceptance of animal testing comes from the lack of awareness of other options. The Community Recognition criterion is important because it shows how a company is helping to educate others in the community and the public on human-relevant methods. 

Focus: Peer-reviewed publications, videos explaining products, news articles, presentations 


2. Entire System Modeling

Some companies are solely focused on organ-on-a-chip models or even kidney-on-a-chip models. This criterion looks at how many systems or models a company is working on. A criticism of non-animal models is that they are not able to fully model a system within the body. 

This criterion takes that concern into consideration by evaluating not only how many types of models a company is working on, but if they are focused on one type of model, how their model can work with others to reflect a full system. The Entire System Modeling criterion primarily focuses on the collaboration efforts of a company used to build system models of the human body if they themselves are not developing an entire system model. 

Focus: Number of organs, collaboration efforts 


3. Applications

Animal testing is not confined to one area. Animals are used in toxicity testing for household goods, cosmetics, and other environmental products like pesticides in addition to animals being used for drug development and medical research. The Applications criterion looks at companies that are developing models that can be used across industries. 

Focus: Number of applications, Variety of applications


4. Entirely Animal-Free

Some companies we evaluate are not exclusively working on human-relevant testing methods. As part of our evaluation criteria, we want to consider all companies working to change the current paradigm, but companies that are still using animals were noted as part of our evaluation. Whether or not a company is entirely animal-free did not hold as much weight as the other evaluation criteria. 

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