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Cellular Dynamics International and Roche Expand Existing Cardiotoxicity Screening Agreement
Date:7/1/2009

MADISON, Wis., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) and Roche announced today a significant expansion of their existing agreement to test drug development candidates for their potential to cause cardiotoxicity, or damage to heart tissue. The two-year collaboration aims to enhance drug safety testing in order to bring promising therapies to patients faster.

Under this agreement, CDI will supply purified cardiomyocytes, created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), to Roche, and the two companies will collaborate to perform various cell characterization, toxicological, and electrophysiological response experiments. The agreement also includes an ongoing cardiomyocyte supply contract post collaboration.

Embarked upon originally in March 2008 as a validation of CDI's human pluripotent stem cell technology, the expanded agreement is a testament to the success of the first phase. This next phase moves the companies toward assessing iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes as a cardiovascular safety pharmacology as well as toxicology tool.

iPSCs are adult tissue cells that have been reprogrammed to a pluripotent, embryonic-like state. Like embryonic stem cells, iPSCs have the ability to differentiate into any cell type in the body. However, because they are created from adult skin cells, not embryos, they enable patient-specific stem cells, an important factor in moving the technology toward personalized medicine.

The goal of the agreement's next phase is to detect drug-induced changes in cardiomyocyte activity across a spectrum of compounds. While it is already standard practice to perform in vitro testing of drug candidates on cardiomyocytes, the cell models currently used have a limited utility to reliably predict conduction-related effects and/o
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SOURCE Cellular Dynamics International (CDI)
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