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GE Healthcare’s Human Cardiomyocyte Product Launches (GERN)

Geron/GE Healthcare has launched (10/5/10) the co-developed human cellular assay product human cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) under a license and alliance agreement for testing potential cardiac toxicity of candidate drug compounds in development.

Assessing the effects of a drug candidate on heart function is an important and universal step in drug development.

  • Cardiac side effects are a common reason for termination of late stage clinical trials or for drugs to be withdrawn from the market;
  • More accurate and earlier predictors of cardiac toxicities would contribute to reduced drug development costs and minimize patient exposure to potentially harmful compounds.
  • The cardiomyocytes for toxicity screening available from GE Healthcare are derived from NIH approved human embryonic stem cells;
  • The GE Healthcare cell product has biochemical and electro-physiological properties analogous to normal cardiomyocytes present in the human body;
  • This technology platform allows for the production of well-characterized master cell banks from which a continuous supply of human cardiomyocytes can be manufactured without the use of genetic modification.

Comparative studies conducted by ChanTest, an acknowledged leader in ion channel screening services, have demonstrated that GE Healthcare’s cardiomyocytes show a greater sensitivity to known ion channel blockers than current animal cell-based assays, enabling more reliable and earlier assessment of potential human toxicities in the development of pharmaceutical compounds.

  • GERN is trading up 3.5% or  $0.18 at $5.36 mid-day from yesterday’s (10/4/10) close of $5.17.