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Midas Mediscience and Cellular Dynamics Collaborate to Expand Commercial Use of Human Stem Cell-Based Assays for Predicting Drug-Induced Cardiotoxicity

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SITTINGBOURNE, April 1, 2011 – Midas Mediscience Ltd (Midas) announced today that it is advancing the research collaboration with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) to identify and predict drug-induced side effects in human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived iCell® Cardiomyocytes. Midas, the life sciences company that acquired the business and assets of VivoMedica Ltd and the DrugPrint® technology originally developed by QinetiQ plc, is building on earlier collaborative work with CDI and their induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived iCell Cardiomyocytes.

Current cell models for drug testing, based on non-human, cadaveric or tumour-derived cells, exhibit poor predictive quality, questionable human relevance and variable reliability. The new collaboration will demonstrate the ability of the DrugPrint technology to reliably and accurately characterise a range of ion channel effects associated with cardiotoxicity in CDI’s iCell Cardiomyocytes under a variety of conditions. The combination of DrugPrint technology with iCell Cardiomyocytes has the potential to significantly improve the speed and accuracy of detection of specific ion channel effects, enable prediction of pro-arrhythmic drug interactions early in drug development, and offer significant time and resource savings for pharmaceutical drug development teams.

CDI’s iPS cell-derived iCell Cardiomyocytes have the potential of overcoming many of the limitations of current models by providing a human-based, virtually unlimited cell supply for industrial use. Together with the DrugPrint testing system, these attributes provide a platform expected to streamline drug development and more accurately predict adult human physiological responses.

DrugPrint is a powerful, analytical signal processing tool refined to provide highly sensitive recognition and characterisation of cellular responses to multiple external factors, such as controlled exposure to new drug candidates. Midas is planning to launch the DrugPrint testing system as a service for individual clients who want early access to the technology and to licence the system to a manufacturer of rapid throughput cell-based assays for future automated drug safety screening.

Mike Hudson, the CEO of Midas, believes that DrugPrint will be rapidly adopted by the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies as a more reliable and biologically relevant system to predict potential cardiotoxicity effects, contributing to the more efficient development and regulation of safer and more effective drugs. “DrugPrint will provide a predictive database of pro-arrhythmic compounds, reducing the reliance on animal testing and enabling suspect compounds to be failed early, thereby reducing costs,” Hudson noted. “The company is keen to work with additional partners to use DrugPrint to validate human data derived from iPS cells with legacy animal data.”

About Midas Mediscience Ltd

Midas Mediscience is a world leader in the analysis of physiological data from cell-based screening models, using the patented DrugPrint system to provide the global Pharmaceutical Industry with proprietary safety and functionality data from Drug candidates. Using DrugPrint to analyse the responses of human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes to drug compounds improves the effectiveness and reduces the cost of the complex processes involved in the discovery, development and safety evaluation of new drugs by providing a unique insight into human responses early in drug development.  Midas Mediscience is majority-owned by Sultan Scientific Ltd, a specialist private equity investor in the medical technology sector.

About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro drug development, in vivo cellular therapeutics, and stem cell banking. CDI harnesses its unique manufacturing technology to produce differentiated tissue cells in industrial quality, quantity and purity from any individual’s stem cell line created from a standard blood draw. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. CDI’s facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin. See www.cellulardynamics.com.