Vium Announces Co-Development Partnership with Japan’s CIEA for Humanized Disease Models

Collaboration to Initially Focus on a Humanized Model for Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GvHD)

March 27, 2017

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 27, 2017 — Vium, the first and only Digital Vivarium™ company, today announced a partnership with Japan’s Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) to co-develop humanized mouse models of disease which Vium will offer as a fee-for-service to clients around the world. The partnership, which will initially focus on developing a humanized mouse model for graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), leveraging Vium’s discovery services and Digital Vivarium® technology platform as well as CIEA’s leadership in humanized mice, using the Institute’s patented NOG® mice.   

“We are excited to partner with CIEA, a world leader in developing humanized mice and disease models, and are gratified that the CIEA has recognized the value of our novel technology platform in advancing preclinical research,” said Timothy L. Robertson, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Vium. “By initially focusing on GvHD, the partnership aims to develop improved models to better understand this devastating complication of transplantation, knowledge that may ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

Vium’s Digital Vivarium enables collection of massive amounts of data from animal subjects with an automated, low-touch approach. The technology minimizes stress and impact on animal physiology, while reducing study variability that arises from subjective and infrequent data collection. Real-time, continuous monitoring and recording of unique health metrics, such as breathing rates, motor activity, and circadian patterns/sleep, allows Vium to develop more clinically relevant data points and surrogate measurements to replace more invasive traditional methods. The company is currently applying such digital measures in animal models across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, aging, liver failure, rare diseases, and oncology.

Humanized mice – mice harboring functioning human cells and/or tissues – have long been used as an in vivo human model for various physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, mouse models have provided key insights into the pathophysiology of GvHD. Scientists at CIEA developed the NOG® mouse, an extremely severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse, by combining the standard NOD/scid mouse with the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor-γchain knockout (IL2rγKO) mouse. Compared to the NOD/scid mouse, the NOG mouse enables better engraftment of human cells and human tissues, and makes possible the engraftment of human cancer cells, liver cells, and other cell types at high rates. In addition, after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), human T-cells can be developed in peripheral lymphoid tissues of the NOG mouse but not the NOD/scid mouse.

“We are very impressed with Vium’s Digital Vivarium, clearly a state-of-the art physical and digital infrastructure for conducting rodent studies.  It is amazing to be able to watch and follow studies being performed in California from our research facility in Japan,” commented Junichi Hata M.D., Ph.D., Research Director at CIEA. “We look forward to working with Vium to characterize the pathophysiology of GvHD and potentially other diseases.”

About Vium, Inc.
Vium is the first company to create a fully integrated living informatics platform for discovery services in preclinical in vivo drug research. The Vium Digital Vivarium™, Vium Cloud, and online Research Suite empower scientists to optimize advances in bioengineered research models in ways previously not possible. Vium is fully accredited by AAALAC International and received an unprecedented AAALAC commendation for upholding the ”3 Rs” (Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement), the gold-standard framework for humane animal research. Customers run the spectrum of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and computational drug discovery companies, academia, and novel therapeutic labs. Vium is backed by leading investors, including Lux Capital, Data Collective, Dolby Family Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, and Founders Fund.

Vium is headquartered in San Mateo, California. For more information, please visit

Reba Auslander, 917-836-9308