Breakthrough in vitro screening for heart drugs and cardiac toxicities
Reify Corporation announces the development of a breakthrough screening service to test drug candidates for therapeutic and toxic cardiac effects in large, mixed populations of living heart cells. The service, called Myosight(tm), will be formally introduced today in Exhibit Hall booth 1441 at the American Heart Association's annual conference (AHA), November 13-15, 2005.
Myosight enables pharmaceutical and biotech companies to make rapid assessments of how compounds affect large populations of isolated heart cells in vitro. Existing technologies limit analysis to one ion channel at a time, such as the hERG channel, one cell at a time, or a few cells in parallel experiments. In contrast, Myosight experiments capture data from dozens of cells at once. This allows Myosight studies to be conducted on large, mixed cell populations that better represent the combination of healthier and less healthy cells that naturally exists in any beating heart. This delivers two key results. Researchers can see whether heart drugs affect only the most typical cells in a population, only atypical cells, or all cells indiscriminately. Researchers can also see, in the variable responses of dozens or even hundreds of intact heart cells, whether any drug carries a risk of causing arrhythmias or other adverse effects on heart function.
"Cardiomyocyte function varies widely from cell to cell, both in vitro and in vivo. Reify's technology has been essential in our research on how reactive oxygen species mediate cardiomyocyte phenotypes. The ability to perform experiments and generate results from a wide range of cells all at once saved us significant time and effort, and gave us a high degree of confidence in our research results. In our case, we also needed data from the cell population over 30-minute time courses, and Reify handled that with no problems," stated Wilson S. Colucci, M.D., member of Reify's Scientific Advisory Board and the Thomas J. Ryan Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology at Boston University School of Medicine.
Calum A. MacRae, M.D., Ph.D., of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital has observed, "The power of Reify's technology lies in its ability to deliver unbiased results from experiments on living biology using image-based assays. Scientists are so accustomed to analyzing images using conventional parameters, that we often forget how much information we throw out when we set image-based or event-based thresholds for experimental endpoints. Capturing the entire spectrum of responses from a population of cardiomyocytes, or even from an intact organism offers investigators the possibility of much less biased assays. I am excited by the idea that Reify is developing this service, and we have used their technology in our work on high throughput analysis of zebrafish cardiovascular function. Cardiomyocyte screening is a great starting point for the company, and I can imagine in the future that they could offer a wide range of truly unbiased screens using their technology."
Arman Garakani, Reify's Chief Technology Officer, commented, "We have been fortunate to be able to work with leading cardiovascular researchers and clinicians while developing our Myosight service, and we thank Drs. Colucci and MacRae for taking an early interest in our technology. Reify is in an exciting position to begin making important contributions to cardiovascular drug research and toxicity testing, and we are enthusiastic about introducing Myosight and discussing our technology at AHA this year."
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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