The Hamner Institutes and Cellular Dynamics Collaborate to Develop In Vitro Assays Using Human iPS Cell-Derived Hepatocytes
"The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences today announced a collaborative agreement with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) to develop predictive in vitro screening assays for chemical, environmental and pharmaceutical toxicology assessments that utilize CDI's human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived hepatocytes.
CDI will provide iCell® Hepatocytes to The Hamner for use in an on-going program of research, referred to as "Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: Toxicity Pathways and Network Biology." This program employs several prototypical toxicity pathway case studies to develop human cell-based assays that map and model key cell signaling pathways in order to evaluate dose response. These assays, once validated with prototype chemicals, should enable toxicity testing and risk assessments based solely on in vitro test results, without progressing to toxicity studies in intact animals.
These in vitro-based toxicity testing schemes will speed testing of both important compounds in commerce and new compounds coming into use. More rapid testing will also help assess the backlog of thousands of chemicals for which there is very limited toxicity test data. As these test technologies mature, they could also provide a means to speed drug discovery by providing assessments of safety far earlier in the drug development process."