Tyler Harris, Letter Essay 6


A week or two ago I read an article titled Organovo Gets Orphan Drug Designation for 3D Printed Liver Tissue, Anne Freier on the Fifth of January this year. This article was published on “All3DP.com,” which basically posts new articles about 3D printing and electronics every day.

I chose to read this article for a few reasons, one being that I read most of the articles put on that site but also because I did my cornerstone project last year on organovo and bioprinted kidneys.

Organovo Holdings Ltd. is a company that designs and makes bio-printed 3D tissue for clinical trials and drug discovery. They recently were granted an orphan drug designation by the FDA. This program (The orphan drug designation) lets drugs still in development be approved for use on orphans. “Organovo has received the designation for its 3D bioprinted liver therapeutic tissue for treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AT),” the article says.

I was surprised when I saw this article in my email because last year when I did a whole project on this company they were only working with mice and rats and not real people. As the CEO of Organovo said, “This is a critical milestone that supports our ongoing development of 3D bioprinted tissues for therapeutic use.  We remain on track for filing an Investigational New Drug application with the FDA in calendar-year 2020, as we continue to conduct safety and dosing investigations in small animal disease models and move to defining and scoping IND enabling studies.” It also surprises me that they are filing for an investigational new drug application in 2020 because after this “milestone” as the CEO said you would think they would take another year or two to focus on this liver and how to make it as best as possible, but I guess not.

I liked the way the author used lots of facts and statistics to back up all of her points in the article. For example, she said “A1At is a rare, inherited condition that can cause lung and liver issues,” and then to back that up she said that 100,000 people in the U.S. are affected, and “The disease is marked by lack of enzyme inhibitor alpha-1 antitrypsin, making patients more vulnerable to smoke and dust inhalation.” The vulnerability to smoke and dust inhalation can cause the lung and liver issues, therefore she backed up that statement.

I found it interesting how they got this designation for a rare condition – one that only 100,000 people in the U.S. have – because Organovo is still a relatively small company, so I expected them to try to be developing drugs for big diseases so they could earn more money to sustain themselves. I found out why they didn’t a few paragraphs down, so keep reading because my next paragraph focuses on that.

A passage I liked in this article was after all the parts about what this designation was for, and now talking about the FDA:

“The FDA Orphan Drug program has a long-standing reputation to offer incentives to develop drug and biologics therapies for rare diseases – those classified as affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US.


Through the latest qualification, Organovo is now able to seek assistance through FDA interactions and protocol assistance as well as tax credits for clinical research costs.


As part of the designation, certain fees are also being waived. Market exclusivity for the tissue is guaranteed for seven years as part of the FDA approval.” (Paragraphs 7-9).


I liked the way the author kind of grouped themes in 3 paragraphs each. For example, the theme here was money, and how that is the incentive to develop drugs for rare diseases. I also liked the way they made it seem like someone was talking or giving a speech which might be a little weird but that’s just me. Overall I thought this was a very well written article, with lots of good information. I would rate the writing in this article an 8.5 out of ten.  



Tyler Harris

Featured image of Organovo Gets Orphan Drug Designation for 3D Printed Liver Tissue


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9 thoughts on “Tyler Harris, Letter Essay 6

  1. I would like to read about this non fiction book and learn more about this. This could save lives. Kidny cancer is a problum and my dog Bella died from kidny cancer. This could save a great deal of lives. I would rellly want to read about this good job.

  2. Dear Tyler,

    I thought it was really cool how you wrote about an article, instead of the normal book. I really like how you explained the backstory to how you found this article and how you analyzed your reading. My favorite part of your letter essay was the last paragraph because of the author’s voice you used in it.

    Thanks for Sharing,

  3. Dear Tyler,

    I think it is very interesting that you decided to do your letter essay about an article as opposed to a book. I thought you did a great job, and your 3D printing news never fails to impress me. I really love this topic and the science reallyamazez me. I mean MAKING body parts. This is huge for the medical feild and, if perfected, would save many. Im very glad you shared this with the blog, now I can go read the article myself.

    Your friend,


  4. Tyler,
    While I do encourage students to write letter-essays on nonfiction (because we should be reading nonfiction), a main objective of the letter-essay assignment is to hold students accountable for their daily ILA homework, which is to read for 30 minutes a day outside of class. That is why letter-essays should be written after books have been read or at least 200 pages of a 400-page-plus book has been read. While you did all the things a student should do in this letter-essay, it’s simply not fair for someone to read a book in order to complete a letter-essay while someone else reads an article online. Having said that, I also understand that students write letter-essays on books that they have not read, or have read years ago, or have simply watched the movie based on the book. I just ask that students read books, and write letter-essays on them.
    Mr. Jockers

  5. Hey Tyler!

    I read your Letter Essay and could not find any flaws. I thought everything you wrote was really interesting and I loved how you really explained the book enough so that I wanted to read it, but not enough that you gave it away! Really nice job on this one.

  6. Dear Tyler,

    I really liked your letter-essay because you didn’t write it about a book, but instead it was an article which makes it different to all the others. I didn’t really see any mistakes, but I thought your essay was very interesting and how you explained it. You did an amazing job on your letter essay .

    Great Job,

    John Santangeli

  7. To Tyler,

    I think it is very interesting that you did your letter essay on an artical instead of a book which adds a lot of creativity. Although an artical is very short, you were able to write a whole essay on it and that is really impressive.

    Luke Vechiarelli

  8. I like how you tried to expand our class’ letter essays to the realm of nonfiction which I believe hasn’t been done yet. You diffidently pulled it off wonderfully. The only criticism I’d have though, is that many of your ideas are thrown directly at the reader and a lot of information, I felt, was given to me at once. Overall, you did a great job and the topic sounds very interesting.

  9. Dear Tyler,

    I love how you quoted statistics from the article to help in the comprehension of what the article was about, it was really helpful. One thing you could improve upon in the essay is analisis. I was a little confused at some parts and struggled to follow what the overreaching point of the article was. Maybe add a bit more base info on what the article was about. Good job and can’t wait to see your next essay.

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