Cellular Dynamics International has announced that their two-year collaboration with Roche to substantiate CDI’s iCell® Cardiomyocytes as a predictive tool for assessing the potential cardiotoxic effects of developing drug candidates was completed early and is now transitioning into a standard supply agreement. Moving forward, iCell Cardiomyocytes, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived human heart cells, will be incorporated into Roche’s drug development decision-making process.
CDI and Roche initiated their collaboration in March 2009 to interrogate CDI’s iCell Cardiomyocytes against a well-categorized compound reference set intended to test the ability of the cardiomyocytes to predict drug-induced, potentially life-threatening, cardiac arrhythmias.
These studies included longitudinal genetic and molecular characterizations of the cardiomyocytes and assessment of their performance across a variety of established and novel testing platforms designed to detect possible cardiotoxic effects of developing compounds early in their development cycle. Multiple publications based on this research are in preparation for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
“This transition to a standard supply agreement is an important milestone for CDI,” said Chris Parker, Chief Commercial Officer of CDI. “CDI and Roche have developed and demonstrated, respectively, a more efficient tool to reveal potential cardiotoxicity in their drug development candidates. iCell Cardiomyocytes have proven to provide value to pharmaceutical drug discovery and development.”
Robert Palay, CEO and Chairman of the Board of CDI, added, “We have developed iCell Cardiomyocytes as a cardiac cell model that truly reflects human biology. In addition, we have developed a manufacturing process that enables us to reliably deliver the cells in the quantity, quality and purity that our customers require to successfully accomplish their drug discovery and toxicity testing research. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Roche and enabling them to discover future drug candidates that could improve human health.”