Axiogenesis and Metrion Biosciences announce stem cell collaboration

Collaboration to develop human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and neurons for translational drug discovery

COLOGNE, Germany and CAMBRIDGE, UK I November 7, 2016 I Axiogenesis AG, a preclinical biotechnology company specialising in the development and production of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells and tissues for preclinical applications, and Metrion Biosciences Ltd, the specialist ion channel CRO, have signed a collaboration agreement to validate, optimise and commercialise iPSC-derived cell based assays to facilitate drug discovery and more accurately predict cardiac arrhythmia and neuronal risk.

Under the terms of the agreement, Axiogenesis will share newly developed iPS-derived cardiomyocytes and neurons with Metrion for detailed profiling and validation on its high quality screening platforms, and Metrion will use commercial Axiogenesis cell products in its optimised ion channel screening, cardiac safety and translational phenotypic assays.

Improved cardiac safety assays using iPS cardiomyocytes are a vital part of the FDA’s Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative, of which both Axiogenesis and Metrion are active participants. Combining Metrion's expertise in ion channel contract research services and assay development with Axiogenesis high quality human iPSC-derived cells will provide a source of well-validated stem cell-derived neurotoxicology and CiPA-compliant cardiac safety assays, as well as screening services for predictive toxicology and translational drug discovery.

“Metrion is currently working with Axiogenesis iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to validate its cardiac ion channel assays,” said Dr Marc Rogers, Chief Scientific Officer, Metrion Biosciences. “This new collaboration will enable us to extend this work, to 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.”

Felix von Haniel, Commercial Director at Axiogenesis said:  “We greatly value interaction with highly competent and specialist partners like Metrion. This collaboration will expand the range and reach of applications of Axiogenesis cells and assays, and will further underline the predictivity of our cells for drug discovery and safety and toxicology purposes.”

About Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences is a specialist ion channel contract research organisation. The Company provides customers with access to a range of high quality ion channel assays on a fee-for-service or collaboration basis. Metrion’s specialist ion channel expertise includes an industry leading panel of in vitro cardiac ion channel safety assays, translational native cell and phenotypic assays for neurological and cardiotoxicity testing, and a range of other ion channel screening services such as cell line development and optimisation. Metrion Biosciences is able to provide tailored assay formats, data analysis and reporting solutions, effective project management and quality assured data packages.

About Axiogenesis

Axiogenesis is a leading provider of commercial-grade in vitro differentiated cell types derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), along with validated assays which enable improved drug development. Assays for each cell type have been developed for advanced drug discovery, disease and tissue modeling, safety pharmacology, and in vitro toxicology applications. Axiogenesis’ cardiac products encompass hiPSC-derived Cor.4U® cardiomyocytes and vCor.4UTM ventricular cardiomyocytes used in cardiac safety and HTS applications as well as isogenic FibroCor.4UTM electro-competent cardiac fibroblasts used in tissue modeling. The neural cell portfolio includes Peri.4UTM peripheral neurons (for structural and functional toxicity assays, novel neurotoxin screening), Dopa.4UTM dopaminergic neurons (for neurodegenerative disease models, neurotoxicity screening), and Astro.4UTM astrocytes (for neuronal co-culture). Axiogenesis' innovative and proprietary cell types and assays accelerate and improve drug candidate selection, lower costs and thus increase overall drug development efficiency.

SOURCE: Axiogenesis

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