Ncardia was established in September 2017 following the merger of Pluriomics and Axiogenesis.
The company provides standardized, validated induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) assays for safety, phenotypic screening, and disease modeling.
“The aim of the merger was to become the authority on iPSC derived assays especially in the cardiac and neuronal fields,” Felix von Haniel, Ncardia VP sales and business development told Outsourcing-Pharma.com
Following the merger, which Haniel said provided the company with enough personnel and facility space, the company completed a €10.5m ($12.42) Series B financing round.
The investment will mainly be used to expand the company’s presence in the market and to drive product development, marketing, and distribution capabilities, he said.
“We are very strong in Europe and we want to increase our presence and our strength in the US,” Haniel explained.
The company also wants to expand into other markets, specifically Japan and possibly China, he added.
Moving forward Haniel said the company also wants to increase the throughput of its screening applications as well as expand production capacity to drive down the cost of its human cells.
While Ncardia has historically been a product company, Haniel explained: “the logical conclusion is also to perform services and customizations for our customers.”
“We are moving up the value chain,” he said.
Moving towards preclinical drug discovery
Ncardia was born out of safety applications for cardiac cells, which has been the main focus for the last three years.
Now, “Ncardia is moving further and further towards preclinical drug discovery,” said Haniel. “More and more we're going into high throughput, disease modeling, and phenotypic screenings where the real power of the cells lies.”
The company’s recent agreements with Roche and Evotec are manifestations of this change, he explained. Ncardia is working with pharma and CRO companies to enable them to implement these phenotypic screens or disease modeling assays, which Haniel said are based on a strong patent portfolio.
The patents date back to 2004 and 2005, so he notes the idea is not new within the company, but now as the company has grown in size – “and in clout so to speak” – the company expands further into this field.