lab research molecule discoveryAxol Bioscience, a biotechnology company specialising in the supply of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells, and Metrion Biosciences, a specialist ion channel drug discovery business, have signed a collaboration agreement to improve, standardize and more accurately predict the risk of human clinical proarrhythmias.

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

Under the terms of the agreement, Metrion will use Axol’s human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to do ion channel screening, cardiac safety testing and translational phenotypic assays. Combining Metrion’s contract research services and assay development capabilities with Axol’s human iPSC-derived cells and culture reagents 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.

Metrion already provides a range of services that meet some of the cardiac safety testing guidelines outlined in the CiPA paradigm, 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 proarrhythmia. These results need to be confirmed in translational phenotypic assays, which will be done 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 did 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.”

Yichen Shi, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Axol Bioscience said: “We value the insight and expertise Metrion’s team bring to this partnership. Working together we can be sure that our customers continue to get the most out of our products and services.”