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GEN News Highlights : Jul 31, 2012

Sigma Life Science and Axiogenesis Partner to Market iPS Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

Sigma Life Science signed an agreement with Axiogenesis to market mouse induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells, enabling long-term studies to accurately predict cardiotoxicity. These derived cell types are available as ready-to-order cells, application-specific kits, and custom services catering to novice and expert users.

"Costly drug candidate failures in clinical trials are most frequently caused by cardiac safety issues," said John Listello, market segment manager of stem cell research and regenerative medicine at Sigma Life Science. "Early identification of these cardiac liabilities is hindered by the lack of reliable and standardized cardiomyocyte cell culture models.”

Cardiomyocytes for research and screening purposes are commonly isolated from available animal and patient tissue. The predictive utility of tissue-derived cardiomyocyte pools is limited because they do not spontaneously beat, gradually dedifferentiate into fetal-like physiological states, and contain a high percentage of contaminating cell types, such as fibroblasts that can rapidly override the culture. As a result, many critical long-term studies that could identify cardiac liabilities prior to clinical trials cannot be performed.

"In contrast, Axiogenesis' iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes enable long-term studies that are impossible to perform in tissue-derived samples, such as accumulation studies that examine the effects of chronic dosing for several weeks at physiologically relevant, picogram levels,” said Listello. “Accumulation patterns from such long-term studies can identify toxic compounds whose toxicity was not detectable through alternative experiments."

Cardiomyocytes derived from Axiogenesis' iPS cell lines maintain physiologically-relevant biology, purity, and spontaneous beating for longer than 28 days. Sigma Life Science's existing stem cell product portfolio includes custom iPS cell CompoZr ZFN-mediated genetic engineering, serum-free cell culture products, cell culture media, 3D matrices, growth factors, and antibodies, providing support for iPS cell-related research.