Bioscience specialists form research pact to predict pro-arrhythmia risk

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Axol Bioscience and Metrion Biosciences have signed a collaboration agreement to improve, standardise and more accurately predict the risk of human clinical pro-arrhythmias. 

Under the terms of the agreement, specialist ion channel drug discovery business Metrion will use Axol’s human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to carry out ion channel screening, cardiac safety testing and translational phenotypic assays. Combining Axol’s human iPSC-derived cells and culture reagents with Metrion’s contract research services and assay development capabilities will provide a source of well-validated, CiPA-compliant stem cell-derived assays and services for use in predictive toxicology as well as drug discovery screening.

The agreement is in accordance with the FDA’s Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative, which aims to revise cardiac safety testing regulations. 

Metrion already provides a range of services including a premium panel of human cardiac ion channel assays, providing high quality data for use in computer-based models of the human cardiac action potential to predict the risk of pro-arrhythmia. These results need to be confirmed in translational phenotypic assays, which will be carried out using Axol’s human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, to help ensure the results are physiologically relevant, and offer a more accurate prediction of drug liability to identify cardiac safety issues sooner and more cost-effectively.

Marc Rogers, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Metrion Biosciences, said: “The preliminary validation work we carried out using Axol Human iPSC-Derived Ventricular Cardiomyocytes show a physiological composition of the three main cardiac ion channels and appropriate cardiac pharmacology, making these cells a promising research tool for investigating CiPA liability.”