Roche, ChanTest collaborate for preclinical cardiac safety testing of drug compounds using iCell Cardiomyocytes and xCELLigence RTCA Cardio Instrument

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Roche announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with ChanTest, a leading ion channel screening provider, to perform cardiac safety testing of potential drug compounds using Roche’s xCELLigence system RTCA Cardio Instrument and iCell Cardiomyocytes, human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived cardiomyocytes provided by Cellular Dynamics International.

Over the last two decades, a number of potential blockbuster drugs have been withdrawn from the market or terminated at late stages of development due to cardiac safety concerns like cardiotoxicity, which results when drugs adversely affect the heart. In part, this was due to the inadequacy of in-vitro models, such as animal cells, cell lines and cadaveric tissue. Testing on human heart cells, such as CDI’s iCell Cardiomyocytes, can help researchers detect potential cardiac safety issues with drug candidates early in the discovery process before in-vivo animal or human testing is conducted potentially saving drug companies significant development costs.


In the agreement, ChanTest will use Roche’s xCELLigence RTCA Cardio Instrument and CDI’s iCell Cardiomyocytes to measure pharmacological responses to a variety of compounds that have been selected based on their known effects on ion channels.


The assessment will include both acute and long-term exposure conditions, and will compare results to those obtained using conventional methods and to known data from preclinical and clinical studies.


About the xCELLigence system RTCA Cardio Instrument


The latest member of the xCELLigence product family, the RTCA Cardio Instrument is a 96-well cell analyzer for the dynamic monitoring of cardiomyocyte beating and cellular events by impedance readings. It records electrical impedance of cells grown on gold microelectrode arrays integrated into the bottom of each well of an E-Plate Cardio 96. In contrast to single-cell, acute techniques like patch clamp, the xCELLigence system provides real-time, label-free beating pattern analysis and is used in a fully controlled environment (within a tissue culture incubator) for continuous short-term and long-term experiments, allowing for more physiologically relevant data.