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GEN News Highlights : Nov 8, 2010

Life Technologies to Provide Biopredic's Hepatic Cell Line

Firm has worldwide rights for cryopreserved HepaRG cells and North American rights for other formats.

Life Technologies has entered into a licensing agreement with Biopredic International for exclusive rights to produce and supply cryopreserved HepaRG cells worldwide and to produce and supply other formats of HepaRG cells within North America.

HepaRG is a human hepatoma cell line that maintains many characteristics of primary human hepatocytes and is capable of indefinite propagation of a single population of cells. This combination of traits makes HepaRG cells a robust in vitro system for drug metabolism and toxicity studies. Specifically, recent studies have suggested that they represent a suitable in vitro liver cell model for analysis of acute and chronic toxicity as well as genotoxicity of chemicals in human liver.

“HepaRG meets our customers’ need for a reproducible, metabolically active platform for higher-throughput compound screening,” says Chris Armstrong, Ph.D., head of discovery and ADME/Tox systems at Life Technologies. “The lack of donor variability makes these cells ideally suited for drug discovery and screening studies where the goal is to evaluate many compounds against a common reference. Customers will now be able to compare the metabolic profile of a large collection of compounds without having to account for the donor variability present in hepatocytes.”

By making HepaRG cells more widely available, the partnership hopes to enable pharmaceutical companies to screen small molecules in a metabolically competent system earlier in the drug development process. In doing so, researchers can potentially identify and terminate dangerous or unsuccessful compounds more efficiently. Ultimately, this could lead to faster development of safe and effective drugs.