June 8, 2022

With the aim to offer drug discovery services using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and iPSC-derived cells, we have entered into a license agreement with iPS Academia Japan, Inc., a company formed to facilitate the application of the iPSC technology deriving from the groundbreaking research of Professor Shinya Yamanaka and colleagues at Kyoto University.

Generating an in-vitro model that mimics the molecular mechanisms behind a disease is the basis of nearly all drug discovery processes. Thanks to the license agreement with iPS Academia Japan, we will be able to develop in-vitro assays using human iPSCs providing our clients with an alternative to primary cells (which are more subject to variability and are difficult to obtain in the correct quantities) when looking for a physiological environment to simulate and study challenging diseases, such as neuronal and neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, cardiac diseases, inflammation, and pain disorders to name a few.

As well as working on iPS cells provided by commercial providers (such as by our partner Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Inc.), the license agreement with iPS Academia Japan allows us to work on iPSCs made available by our clients (e.g., derived from patients) and to genetically modify them to insert specific mutations or reporter systems, and to differentiate such iPSCs into disease-relevant cell types.

Our services include the development of highly-customized in-vitro assays for relevant target classes and molecular pathways and the performance of screening campaigns to identify new active small molecules or for target validation. Different approaches can be applied: high content-based phenotypic analysis, functional tests, electrophysiology, optogenetics, gene silencing, TaqManTM-based gene expression analysis, calcium oscillation analysis, etc.