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Reinnervate Launches EC23™, a Potent Mediator of Cell Differentiation for Cell Culture Applications

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Reinnervate has announced the commercial launch of ec23™, a proprietary small molecule designed to mediate the controlled and reproducible differentiation of cells in culture. ec23, which is currently available worldwide from leading life science product distributors, LGC Standards, Enzo Life Sciences and Tocris Bioscience, has multiple applications in academic and pharmaceutical research.

Reinnervate is developing small molecule mediators and other cell culture supplements alongside its core technology, Alvetex®, a scaffold that enables routine 3D cell culture in the lab. By enabling cells to grow in a 3D environment, Alvetex better mimics the conditions experienced by cells when growing in normal tissue. Use of Alvetex therefore provides a relevant and representative model for investigating how cells and tissues may behave in the body in response to external factors (such as drug candidates) than is currently possible with existing 2D or other emerging 3D cell culture technologies.

ec23 is a synthetic retinoid based on all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which is well known for its ability to modulate cell function and neural development. ATRA, as with other naturally occurring retinoids, is unstable and degrades readily when exposed to light (even low intensity light), which can result in cell culture heterogeneity and lack of reproducibility. The key advantage of ec23 is that it is a more potent inducer of neurogenesis than ATRA and is also entirely stable. This means that when ec23 is added to cell culture media it will modulate cell differentiation predictably and consistently.

Professor Stefan Przyborski, Reinnervate’s Chief Scientific Officer, said: “The ability to control the development of cells and tissues in a predicable way is a major challenge in stem cell biology. Researchers require molecules that induce reliable and reproducible biological activity resulting in consistent modes of cell differentiation. This is especially important where reproduction of cell behavior is required, for example, the consistent differentiation of neurons from stem cells for use in drug development and toxicity screening. During its development, ec23 demonstrated clearly its potential in this area and we are therefore very pleased to make it available more widely to researchers in both academia and industry.”