Cellular Dynamics Announces Commercial Launch of iCell™ Cardiomyocytes for Drug Candidate Toxicity Screening
Product News Dec 17, 2009
Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) has announced the commercial launch of iCell™ Cardiomyocytes for use in testing of new drug candidates by the pharmaceutical industry.
These human heart cells are designed to aid drug discovery and improve the predictability of drug compound efficacy and toxicity screens, weeding out ineffective and potentially toxic compounds early in the pharmaceutical pipeline process.
iCell Cardiomyocytes are derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, spontaneously beat in vitro (see movie), and exhibit the electrophysiological and biochemical properties of normal human heart cells. Thus, iCell Cardiomyocytes provide significant advances over non-human cell models, which may exhibit a different response than human tissue; tumor-derived cell models, which are genetically different than normal cells; and cadaveric cells, which exhibit batch-to-batch variability, de-differentiate under in vitro conditions, and exhibit non-cardiomyocyte behavior.
iCell Cardiomyocytes are the first product ever developed from iPS cells, discovered by CDI senior research fellow Junying Yu, Ph.D., then a postdoctoral research associate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison laboratory of James Thomson, V.M.D., Ph.D., in 2007.
iCell Cardiomyocytes are produced in-house by CDI from a master cell bank of iPS cells expanded from a single clonal population reprogrammed from fully mature human cells using Dr. Thomson’s patented technology. Based on strong intellectual property and exclusively licensed patents from several universities, CDI has developed a proprietary process to industrialize iCell Cardiomyocytes production so that the cardiomyocytes are manufactured at the high quantity, quality and purity required by pharmaceutical companies. CDI has successfully engaged in pre-launch validation testing with several pharmaceutical customers.
Robert Palay, chief executive officer of CDI, continued, “Launching iCell Cardiomyocytes to the pharmaceutical industry is an important step for Cellular Dynamics. We have shown that we can manufacture and provide validated human iPS cell-derived terminally differentiated cardiomyocytes in the quantity and quality needed by our customers. We look forward to growing this product with our pharmaceutical customers and developing line extensions of iCell Cardiomyocytes, including panels with multiple iPS starting materials, as well as launching other iPS cell-derived iCell products.”