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Axol Bioscience offers iPSC-derived heart cells for use in drug testing

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Axol Bioscience is now offering cells that have been validated for measuring cardiotoxicity during the drug discovery process.

The Babraham Research Campus company has introduced human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived ventricular cardiomyocytes.

Axol Bioscience CEO Liam Taylor
Axol Bioscience CEO Liam Taylor

They have undergone comprehensive in vitro pro-arrhythmia assay (CiPA) validation - a method introduced by a working group for the US Federal Food and Drug Administration Agency to assess the effectiveness of such cells for reproducing cardiotoxicity in a dish. The method tests cells with 28 compounds known to be cardiotoxic and induce fatal arrhythmia.

Axol manufactures the cells at scale using the ISO 9001-accredited quality management system, providing a continuous source of cells from the same genetic background for use in multiple experiments.

They offer a physiologically relevant in vitro research model of human heart cells and mean drug candidates can be repeatedly and reliably tested for cardiotoxicity at scale, which should help improve the number of pre-clinical drug candidates that make it to clinical trials.

Read more on Axol Bioscience: Axol Bioscience raises further £3.2m to extend iPSC products for drug discovery market

Liam Taylor, CEO of Axol Bioscience, said: “Scientists need cells and reagents they can rely on to make meaningful assessments of drug candidate toxicity, before progressing candidates to the clinic.

“We’re both excited and proud to demonstrate the suitability of our human iPSC-derived ventricular cardiomyocytes for toxicity testing.

“Axol’s stringent quality control standards mean we have the capability to produce reliable, validated cells that scientists can use to assess a compound’s cardiac liability and, ultimately, help to improve the drug discovery process.”

Prof Godfrey Smith, CSO of Clyde Biosciences, added: “As a core member of the CiPA initiative, we’re pleased to have supported Axol’s cell development and helped the team assess the performance of its cardiomyocytes.

“Having run the CiPA protocol on Clyde’s proprietary CellOPTIQ platform, and provided analysis and interpretation of the data, we confirm our data indicates that Axol’s cardiomyocytes meet the requirements for predictive in vitro pro-arrhythmia screening.”

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