The annual AIT conference, held in Gothenburg, Sweden from May 2nd to 5th, provided ImmuONE with a valuable platform to learn from renowned experts in inhaled toxicology and drug development. The conference started with a strong focus on in vitro assessment, exposure systems, and alternatives to animal models, featuring influential presentations from leading organisations such as AstraZeneca, Alveolix, and Charles River.
Noteworthy topics that resonated with our work included
- developing in vitro mini lung fibrosis models
- high-content imaging assays for rapid compound screening
- breathing immune-competent lung-on-chip models
- the implications of interindividual variability, multicellularity, and dosing in safety assessment
These discussions shed light on the potential and challenges of using in vitro systems in inhalation toxicology.
While the second and third days of the conference had a broader focus, they still provided valuable insights. Topics covered during these days encompassed
- inhaled cannabinoids and their safety considerations
- multiparameter in vivo approaches for inhaled biotherapeutics
- the use of juvenile animals in testing
- the translation of findings into clinically relevant data
Of particular interest was a talk on spatial, single-cell -omics techniques employed to identify abnormal gene signatures in inflammation, leading to a deeper understanding of pathophysiological changes in lung tissues and the prediction of adverse outcomes with clinical relevance.
On the final day, all conference attendees were given the opportunity to tour the AstraZeneca facilities, gaining insight into their ground-breaking work in basic science and drug development. The collaborative atmosphere and shared expertise across departments, companies, and innovators at the site were particularly inspiring. There was immense value in learning about diverse disciplines ranging from protein crystallography to quantum computing, as AstraZeneca strives to develop novel and promising drug candidates.
Overall, the AIT conference provided us with an enriching experience, expanding our knowledge of inhaled toxicology, in vitro systems, and the latest advancements in the field. The opportunity to engage with industry experts, explore innovative research, and witness the collaborative efforts of leading organisations made the conference a valuable investment for ImmuONE’s professional growth.
On a personal note, the opportunity to expand my network in this space was incomparable. I particularly enjoyed getting to meet and connect with many industry experts, potential clients, and collaborators.
Roll on AIT 2024!