Stembiosys Unveils Cellvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte, An Innovative Breakthrough In Cardiotoxicity Screening
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
StemBioSys, Inc. (StemBioSys) has recently announced the introduction of CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte. This innovative product is derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and is specifically designed to function like human atrial cardiomyocytes. The main purpose of developing CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte is to provide a more precise, efficient, and cost-effective platform for screening new drug products for cardiotoxicity compared to current methods such as animal models and other in-vitro techniques.
The CEO of StemBioSys, Bob Hutchens, emphasized the significance of this breakthrough by stating that having access to mature, human atrial cells derived from hiPSCs is a major advancement. The unique feature of CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte lies in its chamber-specificity, as the electrophysiology of each heart chamber differs. This specificity allows for a better prediction of drug effects and toxicity, as certain drugs are known to cause arrhythmia only in the atria or ventricles. Hutchens referred to data published in a peer-reviewed journal that demonstrated the accuracy of hiPSC-CMs cultured on Matrix Plus in predicting cardiac toxicity compared to the commonly used ion-channel in-vitro testing method.
The development of CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte builds upon previous research published in Nature Scientific Reports, where StemBioSys and the University of Michigan scientists successfully produced mature human cardiomyocytes within a short period using StemBioSys' extracellular matrix, called Matrix Plus. These cardiomyocytes not only promoted electrophysiological function but also allowed for the visualization of reentrant arrhythmia responsible for fatal cardiac events in humans. In comparison, other technologies require a longer timeframe of 30 to 100 days for partial hiPSC-CM maturation.
Travis Block, the Chief Technology Officer of StemBioSys, highlighted the potential of hiPSC-CMs in pre-clinical drug discovery. However, challenges such as hiPSC-CM immaturity and inconsistencies in cell production and functionality have hindered its adoption. The combination of CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte with Matrix Plus aims to address these challenges by providing researchers with an efficient and reliable system that can accurately predict the cardiac safety of drugs in the early development stage.
CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocytes are produced from hiPSCs licensed from REPROCELL, a company known for its stable and translational iPSC-derived human cardiomyocytes. REPROCELL utilizes a proprietary technique to reprogram adult cells into stem cells without permanently altering the cells' genome. Additionally, CELLvo™ Atrial Cardiomyocyte cells undergo purification before cryopreservation to eliminate unwanted cell types, ensuring a more biologically relevant and applicable cell population.
Chika Yokoyama, the CEO of REPROCELL, expressed excitement about their cells being used to address this critical issue and expressed a desire for continued collaboration with StemBioSys.
StemBioSys plans to launch more hiPSC-CM products in the future, including a companion product for developing ventricular cardiomyocytes. Their vision is to contribute to a new era of drug discovery that relies on data from cultured, hiPSC-derived human cells while reducing and replacing the use of animals in the field of drug discovery and toxicity testing.