Drug failure and high development cost (est. €2.3bn/new drug) have driven enormous growth in market need for scientific tests and disease models that better translate between the laboratory and bedside. Critical tests are either not available, or only available on a few large, expensive instruments. In addition, there is a public demand for a reduction in animal testing and a drive towards better models of in vitro (laboratory or controlled environment) rather than in vivo tests.
The MetaCell-TM project H2020 FTI €2.5m funding enables the consortium of Luxcel Biosciences Ltd, BMG LABTECH GmbH and Ncardia (formally Axiogenesis AG and Pluriomics) to develop a physiologically relevant cell-based assay platform for metabolism in preclinical drug discovery and development, creating the Gold Standard, within a laboratory in vitro setting. This project is supported by two highly respected research institutions, Oxford University, UK and Imperial College London, UK.
Early Applications for MetaCell:
1. Ischaemia/reperfusion injury:
Rapid de- and re-oxygenation (CLARIOstar® ACU) is coupled to phenotypically mature hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (Cor.4U, or tumor models). Real-time cellular O2 concentration is measured in 96- or 384-well format assays (MitoXpress®).
2. Multiplexing cardiac function and metabolism:
MetaCell enables the multiplex overlay of key metabolic parameters, with flexible multi-mode reader functionality (CLARIOstar®) and easy to use, mix and read assays (MitoXpress®).
3. Metabolic Profiling:
MetaCell enables characterisation of a cell´s energy phenotype, allowing the development of maturation media and more physiologically relevant cell models.