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Seahorse Bioscience Launches First Product from the Partnership with Baystate Medical Center and UMass Amherst

BILLERICA, Mass., April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Seahorse Bioscience, the world leader in instruments and assay kits for measuring cell metabolism recently launched the XF Plasma Membrane Permeabilizer (PMP), a reagent that enables scientists to measure the biochemistry and mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction, without the need for mitochondrial isolation or detergent-based permeabilization methods.

XF PMP was developed in partnership with the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI), a joint venture of Baystate Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the dual missions of biomedical research and economic development. The technology was exclusively licensed to Seahorse Bioscience by UMass Amherst and Baystate Health, the parent organization of Baystate Medical Center.

XF PMP can be used with the Seahorse XFe Extracellular Flux Analyzer, an instrument for measuring cell metabolism, in real-time, in a microplate. The reagent was developed for XF technology in part by Dr. Nagendra Yadava , the John Adams Investigator at PVLSI; and Dr. Alejandro Heuck , Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMass Amherst.

"In the development of this potent new tool in biomedical analysis, we see the tremendous potential of collaborations between clinical and academic researchers and ingenuitive companies like Seahorse," said Richard Friedberg , M.D., Ph.D., chair of Pathology and chair of the Intellectual Property Committee at Baystate Health, who represented Baystate in working with Seahorse and UMass to establish the licensing agreement. 

XF PMP creates pores in the cell plasma membrane, and delivers a degree of precision and ease-of-use that has not been available to scientists researching cell metabolism. A key element of XF PMP is the ability to assess mitochondrial function in adherent monolayers of permeabilized cells without damaging the mitochondrial membrane. By doing so, XF PMP enables metabolic substrates, compounds, and small proteins that otherwise would not cross the plasma membrane to reach the mitochondria.

"Seahorse's new XF Plasma Membrane Permeabilizer [PMP] enabled us to demonstrate that clinically-relevant concentrations of thiazolidinediones, a class of insulin sensitizers that includes Actos®, specifically inhibited the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier, a protein at the hub of cellular metabolism. The simplicity and reliability of XF PMP made it easy to interrogate the mitochondrial function of small clinical samples and genetically modified cells without mitochondrial isolation, experiments that are traditionally difficult or impossible. Our work is providing a new understanding of the mechanism of action of an important class of drugs, and opens a new avenue for the development of drugs to treat diseases including type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and heart failure," stated Anne N. Murphy , Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology at University of California, San Diego.

About Seahorse Bioscience

Seahorse Bioscience provides industry-leading analytical instruments, cell-based assay kits, and consumable labware products for biological research and drug discovery. Scientists worldwide use these tools to advance their research in understanding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer, neuroscience, immunology, obesity, diabetes, ageing, cardiovascular function, and safety toxicity. Seahorse is headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts; has its manufacturing facilities in Chicopee, Massachusetts; and regional headquarters in Copenhagen and Shanghai. For more information visit:

About Baystate Medical Center

Baystate Medical Center is an academic, research and teaching hospital that serves as the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine. It is the major referral care center and only Level 1 trauma center for western Massachusetts, and is home to one of New England's busiest emergency rooms. One of Thomson Reuters/Truven Health Analytics' top 50 U.S. hospitals for cardiovascular care and top 100 U.S. hospitals, Baystate Medical Center is also designated a Leapfrog Top Hospital for quality and safety, is a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and is a six-time winner of the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.

About the University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the flagship campus of the UMass system, is one of the nation's top public research universities with 28,000 students studying in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2013, UMass Amherst offers 108 undergraduate degree programs (including six associate degrees) as well as 76 masters and 50 doctoral programs. For more information visit:

About the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute

PVLSI was created in 2002 as a joint venture of Baystate Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the dual missions of biomedical research and economic development. Drawing on each of the founders as well as its own researchers, the Institute brings together physicians, scientists, and engineers to create interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams focused on the molecular mechanisms of disease and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools. For more information visit:

Contact: Naomi Goumillout , 1-978-671-1619,

SOURCE Seahorse Bioscience
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