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  • How Big Pharma Stands To Benefit From VistaGen Therapeutics' (VSTA) Human Clinical Trials In A Test Tube™ Platform 0 comments
    Feb 18, 2014 5:20 PM | about stocks: VSTA

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a low tolerance for drug candidates with safety risks; countless potential new drugs candidates fail in preclinical or clinical trials due to safety concerns, costing pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars in research and development (R&D) costs. VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotech company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy, believes that the majority of pricey and unexpected heart and liver toxicity and metabolism issues is due to limitations of the major toxicological testing systems currently used in the pharmaceutical industry, such as animal testing and cellular assays based on transformed cell lines and human cadaver cells.

    VistaGen has developed the Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ to address this problem. The platform takes human pluripotent stem cells, cells that have the ability to be geared and developed into any other kind of cell in the human body, and differentiates them into useable human heart cells and human liver cells. The company's goal is to pair its stem cell technology with modern medicinal chemistry to create a diverse drug pipeline consisting of new, proprietary, small molecule variants (drug rescue variants) of once-promising drug candidates.

    Upon developmental success, each lead drug rescue variant has potential to be a new drug candidate through which VistaGen can have upfront and development milestone payments and royalties on commercial sales. For big pharma companies struggling to roll-out new drugs, VistaGen's technology offers an incredible solution.

    Take Pfizer, for example. The company cut its R&D costs by $800 million to $6.6 billion last year to offset lagging revenues. In a recent article published on, author John Carroll writes that while Pfizer expects to spend between $6.4 billion - $6.9 million on this year's R&D, there's speculation the company is capable of developing new blockbuster products. In 2013, Pfizer received FDA approval for Duavee, for hot flashes caused by menopause. Carroll also notes while the company received numerous FDA approvals in 2012, revenues continued to disappoint.

    In conclusion, Carroll writes of Pfizer, "… there's no convincing sign that the pharma giant has figured out how to get more out of the multibillion-dollar research budget that remains."

    According to the Food and Drug Administration even only a 10 percent improvement in predicting failure before clinical trials could save $100 million in development costs, which for a company in Pfizer's position would allow for maximum use of R&D funds before digging too deep into the budget. VistaGen's Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ has been developed to provide clinically relevant predictions of potential heart and liver toxicity of promising new drug candidates long before they are ever tested on humans.

    By more closely approximating human biology than conventional animal studies and other nonclinical techniques and technologies currently used in drug development, VistaGen's human stem cell-based bioassay systems can improve the predictability of the drug development cycle and lower the cost of new drug research and development by identifying product failures earlier in the cost curve.

    For more information, visit

    MissionIR provides investor relations services to publicly traded companies in exchange for compensation. This article may be part of our efforts to widen a client's exposure. To read our full disclaimer, visit

    Stocks: VSTA
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