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Apr 14, 2008

Dasgip and Fraunhofer IZI to Find Alternatives to Animal Models in Drug Testing

  • Dasgip and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) are partnering conducting stem-cell research to find alternatives to drug testing that do not require animals. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is subsidizing this project to the tune of €1.1 million.

    About 50% of preclinical tests are performed to explore the bone harming and thus the embryotoxic potential of drug candidates, the collorators note. Nicole zur Nieden, leader of the stem cell group at the Fraunhofer Institute, is developing a method to identify the bone harming potential in vitro. Dasgip will contribute its bioreactor system to the project.

    Nieden’s work involves simulating and monitoring the multiphase differentiation process of pluripotent stem cells in a controlled bioreactor system. By adding compounds with known in vivo osteotoxic potential, adverse effects on the differentiation will be identified. Nonhuman embryonic primate stem cells will be compared to human progenitor cells to study varying molecular reactions compared to mice.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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