• Cardiomyocytes are derived from human embryonic stem (hES) cells and could provide a biologically relevant alternative to current cell models and primary cells, for predictive toxicity testing.
• Highly characterized: Phenotype characterized by flow cytometry, subcellular imaging, and electrophysiology for both structural and functional markers, such as α-actinin, troponin I, α-MHC and electrical activity.
• Functionally verified: Electrical properties verified using patch clamping for both action potential and individual ion channel currents
• Representative myocyte population: Comprise ventricular, atrial, and nodal subtypes, the majority being ventricular myocytes.
• Scalable: Available in quantities to match a range of applications, from manual patch clamping to high-content screening.
• Cryopreserved for ease of use: Stable for at least 6 months when cryopreserved. High cell viability, at least 80%, after thawing. Ready-to- use on thawing, and can be maintained for at least 7 days once recovered into culture.
The availability of more biologically relevant and predictive assays and cell models is key to improving the success rate and reducing the cost of the drug discovery and development process. Such assays and models could facilitate the termination of unpromising compounds earlier in development and the engineering of potential drug molecules to remove toxic liabilities.
In drug discovery and development, up to three quarters of toxicity problems are not detected until preclinical or later stages, and cardiotoxicity is a common cause of drug safety liabilities and withdrawal of drugs during development. Industrial-scale production of cardiomyocytes could provide a readily available supply of cells for safety screening.