Per the agreement, Axiogenesis will share new iPS-derived cardiomyocytes and neurons with Metrion for profiling and validation on its screening platforms.
Additionally, Metrion will use commercial Axiogenesis cell products in its ion channel screening, cardiac safety, and translational phenotypic assays.
According to the companies, developing cardiac safety assays using iPS cardiomyocytes is important to the FDA’s Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative – an initiative in which both companies are participating.
The two companies are currently working together to validate cardiac ion channel assays. Dr. Marc Rogers, Chief Scientific Officer at Metrion Biosciences, commented that the new collaboration will enable the companies to prolong this work.
Specifically, he explained the companies will use iPS neurons for pain and other neuroscience therapies and “to create more predictive neurotoxicology assays that will enable the potential risk and side-effects of new compounds to be assessed more accurately and cost-effectively.”
Growing interest for iPS cell profiling
Last month, Dr. Andrew Southan, the company's newly appointed head of commercial operations told us the company plans to form strategic alliances with other companies "where it gives us additional breadth without significantly increasing our costs."
The company recently invested in new laboratories, equipment, and staff – including Southan – as part of the company's continued growth strategy.
Moving into the field of stem-cell derived iPS cells, specifically for cardiomyocytes for translational cardiac safety assay testing, is also part of this strategy.
Marc Rogers, Metrion’s CSO told us the company has received a lot of recent interest in its iPS cell profiling and cardiac assay validation services, as demonstrated by the extended collaboration with Axiogenesis announced today.
The company has also invested in new phenotypic platforms, such as multi-electrode arrays (MEA) and impedance platforms, which Rogers said will enable the design, validation and implementation of translational cardiac and neuronal assays using native tissue (e.g. dorsal root ganglion for pain, cortical neurons for CNS programmes) and iPS cells.