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Promega and Cellular Dynamics Partner to Validate Stem Cell-Based In Vitro Assays for Predicting Drug-Induced Cardiotoxicity

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MADISON, Wis., June 15, 2010 – Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) and Promega have entered into a research collaboration with the goal of bringing more relevant and highly predictive toxicity testing to the drug discovery process. Pharmaceutical discovery scientists will now be able to combine bioassays with human cardiomyocytes to improve prediction of unintentional, detrimental side effects that have previously remained undetected until late in the development process or after release of the drug to the general public.

Figure 1: Viability (blue) and death (red) of iCellTM Cardiomyocytes (CDI) in response to Staurosporine application measured simultaneously with MultiTox-Glo Multiplex Cytotoxicity Assay (Promega).

Currently CDI has validated a panel of cell-based cytotoxicity assays from Promega that use CDI’s human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derivediCellTM Cardiomyocytes. Data presented at the recent Society of Toxicology and the Society of Biomolecular Sciences conferences by CDI demonstrate that Promega’s multiplexed biomarker assays for cytotoxicity and cell viability can be used to identify known toxic agents with similar sensitivity as reported in the published literature (see figure below).

CDI and its pharmaceutical collaborators have begun validating such assays in order to incorporate them into their routine discovery programs. Chris Parker, CDI’s chief commercial officer, noted, “Pharmaceutical customers recognize the importance of using human models to perform their studies—but up until recently, human cell models that exhibited true human biology in vitro were difficult to come by. We have several pharmaceutical customers who’ve validated in vitro cardiotoxicity assays using iCell Cardiomyocytes, which have correlated well with previous data from cardiotoxicity studies in animal-based models.” Ultimately, the union of these two technologies from Promega and CDI is expected to provide more biologically predictive data and drive the development of safer and more effective drugs.

About Promega

Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s 2,000 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, molecular diagnostics and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 14 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information about Promega, visit www.promega.com.

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.