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Roche Taps CDI to Test Candidate Compounds for Cardiotoxicity with Cell-Based Platform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Cellular Dynamics International said today it will test drug candidate compounds from Roche Palo Alto for the potential to damage heart tissue.
The Madison, Wis.-based CDI said that Roche is providing it with two sets of 25 compounds to test on its platform, which uses human cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells. The partners hope to detect any drug-induced changes in the electrical activity of the heart, such as prolongation of the QT interval, which could cause faster, slower, or irregular beating.
CDI will also work with Roche on cytotoxicity testing of the compounds in order to build predictive models of toxicology.
Nick Seay, CDI’s CTO, said in a statement that the company is focused on developing next-generation models for cardiotoxicity because it is responsible for 30 percent of all drug failures.
Chris Kendrick-Parker, CDI’s vice president of business development, said that the validation of the company’s platform through the collaboration is “the first step in using these cells in routine toxicology testing.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.