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Molecular Devices and HeartBeat.bio Announce Collaboration To Automate and Scale Cardiac Organoids

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Molecular Devices, LLC. and HeartBeat.bio AG, a biotech company developing cardiac organoids (Cardioids) for drug discovery, have entered into a co-development agreement. With cardiovascular diseases the leading cause of death worldwide—claiming 34 lives every minute—and cardiotoxicity a leading cause of drug withdrawals, this collaboration will provide automated solutions to better model disease physiology, discover novel drug targets, and test cardiac toxicity using 3D cell cultures that more accurately represent human biology as compared to traditional animal models. The commercialized offering will enable researchers to reliably scale production of Cardioids and advance cardiac drug discovery, and will be compatible with Molecular Devices’ Organoid Innovation Center solutions available today.

“The combination of HeartBeat.bio’s proprietary Cardioid technology and Molecular Devices’ automated 3D cell culture and image analysis solutions, defines a powerful and compelling partnership. Together, we are committed to develop and commercialize the world’s first integrated, end-to-end high-throughput human cardiac organoid screening platform,” said Michael Krebs, CEO of HeartBeat.bio. “The collaboration establishes the foundation for HeartBeat.bio’s strategy to apply this unique 3D biology platform for cardiac drug development partnerships with pharma and proprietary discovery programs in heart failure.”

In addition to its role in cardiac diseases research, the application for cardiac safety is of great importance as cardiovascular safety concerns remain a leading cause of failure in clinical trials, which can be attributed in part to reliance on models that are limited in predictivity. The Molecular Devices platform built around HeartBeat.bio’s Cardioid technology is expected to improve preclinical research, leading to higher clinical trial success rates along with reduced costs and time for compound development.

“By collaborating with HeartBeat.bio, we’ll equip more researchers with the physiologically-relevant cell models, automated bioimaging technology, and reproducible workflows needed to drive development of novel heart disease treatments and reduce cardiovascular safety risk of drugs entering clinical trials,” said Susan Murphy, President of Molecular Devices. “Our ultimate goal is to help unleash the full potential of organoid research so that scientists are empowered to bring safer and more effective therapeutics to patients faster.”

With a leading pharmaceutical company already identified to help validate the offering for cardiac drug safety, the companies are open for additional customers to test and assess the predictive value of the platform as compared to today’s existing drug development methods.

“As Cardioids represent better predictive models than cardiomyocytes or engineered spheroid models, this collaboration has the potential to considerably improve preclinical drug profiling and significantly increase the efficiency of pharmaceutical drug development,” Murphy concluded.