Today before the opening bell, VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue, predictive toxicology, and drug metabolism assays, announced it has entered a new collaboration agreement with Celsis In Vitro Technologies ("Celsis"), the premier global provider of specialized in vitro products for drug metabolism, drug-drug interaction, and toxicity screening. The two companies aim to characterize and functionally benchmark VistaGen's human liver cell platform, LiverSafe 3D™, for studying and predicting human liver drug metabolism.
Utilizing Celsis' experience and expertise in in vitro drug metabolism, VistaGen aims to demonstrate the accuracy of its human liver cell platform. In this strategic collaboration Celsis will not only validate VistaGen's stem cell-derived liver cells in traditional pharmaceutical metabolism assays, but will also determine genetic variations in VistaGen's pluripotent stem cell lines that are important to drug development. VistaGen also will utilize Celsis' human cadaver-derived liver cells, currently used throughout the pharmaceutical industry for traditional drug metabolism assays, as reference controls with which to monitor and benchmark the functional properties of LiverSafe 3D™.
With the assistance of Celsis scientists, VistaGen aims to achieve four key objectives:
• Optimize techniques to handle and maintain primary human cadaveric liver cells as reference controls for various drug development assays;
• Develop a stable supply of characterized and validated human cadaveric liver cells to serve as internal controls and provide benchmark comparisons for the characterization of VistaGen's pluripotent stem cell-derived liver cells;
• Characterize VistaGen's liver cells using many of the same industry standardized assays used to characterize primary human cadaveric liver cells; and
• Produce a joint publication of the characterization of VistaGen's stem cell-derived human liver cells.
"As an industry leader in the development of in vitro primary hepatocyte technology, Celsis has extensive resources to aid us in the benchmarking of our novel liver cell-based platform to industry standards," stated H. Ralph Snodgrass, PhD, VistaGen's President and Chief Scientific Officer. "We anticipate this collaboration will lead to the further validation of our LiverSafe 3D™ system for predicting liver toxicity and drug metabolism issues long before costly human clinical trials."
"This is another example of our long-term dedication to using the power of human pluripotent stem cells as the basis of more predictive in vitro tools for drug discovery and development," concluded Dr. Snodgrass.
For additional information, visit www.VistaGen.com
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