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System for Living Cell Evaluation of Cardioactive Drugs to Be Marketed

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 04 Oct 2010
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Technology that utilizes cardiac stem cells as a tool for drug discovery and testing has successfully passed external beta evaluation at several pharmaceutical and academic institutions and will be made commercially available.

The system brings together induced pluripotent cardiac stem cells (iCell Cardiomyocytes) developed by Cellular Dynamics International (Madison, WI, USA) and the ACEA Biosciences (San Diego, CA, USA) xCELLigence RTCA (real-time cell analysis) System. The xCELLigence RTCA system includes a combination of instruments that utilizes specially fabricated microtiter plates containing microelectrodes for real-time dynamic monitoring of cell behavior under label-free conditions. It was developed by ACEA and Roche Applied Science (Basel, Switzerland) and is marketed by Roche.

iCell Cardiomyocytes beat spontaneously in vitro and exhibit the electrophysiological and biochemical properties of normal human heart cells, thereby creating significant advances over current cardiac cell models. During the evaluation phase the combination of iCell Cardiomyoctes and the xCELLigence system was used to measure the effects of cardiac compounds with known electrophysiological and/or biochemical actions on the cells as well as drugs withdrawn from the market due to cardiac liability.

"Cellular Dynamics International's goal is to supply relevant human cellular tools to improve the efficiency and throughput of drug development pipelines,” said Chris Parker, chief commercial officer at Cellular Dynamics International. "Our iCell Cardiomyocytes provide a biochemically and electrophysiologically relevant human model for discovery and testing, compared to current nonhuman, cadaveric, or immortalized cells lines. In addition, our industrialized manufacturing process enables us to supply homogeneous cells in the quantity, quality, and purity required to assess potential cardiac effects caused by drugs under development.”

Dr. Xiaobo Wang, a vice president at ACEA Biosciences said, "We are excited that our technology allows for assessment of cardiac liability of drug candidates early in the drug development process. We look forward to working together with the scientists in this important area to test some of their compounds as part of our technology early access program prior to the launch of the RTCA Cardio System and provide them with important cardiotoxicity information about their compounds.”

Related Links:
Cellular Dynamics International
ACEA Biosciences
Roche Applied Science


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