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GEN News Highlights : Nov 14, 2008

Cellular Dynamics Receives SBIR Grant

Funding will be used to develop human cardiomyocytes for drug screening.

Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) received an SBIR grant from the NIH worth $499,796 to develop pluripotent stem-cell derived human cardiomyocytes (CMs), or heart cells. Human CMs will provide a more predictive model to determine cardiotoxicity in the early stages of drug development, according to the company.

CDI will use human pluripotent stem cells to derive pure populations of cardiomyocytes (atrial, ventricular, and nodal) for development of preclinical models to accurately predict cardiac toxicity in humans during the early stages of drug discovery. These models will allow for detection of drug toxicity and significantly reduce the chances of a cardiotoxic compound ever reaching a clinical population, thus improving the overall efficiency and safety of the drug development process, the company adds.

This is the second SBIR grant awarded to CDI this year, with a combined total of approximately $1 million.