Firm negotiated exclusive license to isletOrganDOT platform, which will be offered as part of PhaseZero drug discovery services.

Human tissue and cell-based services firm Asterand negotiated an exclusive license to Capsant Neurotechnologies’ isletOrganDOT™ 3-D cell-based assay platform for evaluating diabetes candidates. Asterand is immediately launching the technology, which will be added to the firm’s suite of PhaseZERO® human tissue/cell-based drug discovery services for compound evaluation and target and biomarker validation.

“The isletOrganDOT 3-D tissue culture system replicates, under physiological and pharmacological control, the release of mediators from human islet cells,” comments Graham Place, Ph.D., senior department head of biochemical pharmacology at Asterand. The platform supports human reconstituted primary islets that retain cell functionality for up to 14 days in culture. This enables timed and repeated dosing regimens for test compounds, the firm notes. The isletOrganDOT system in addition features a 24-insert plate format that provides the option to run multiple plates in parallel, allowing users to test batches of early hit compounds as well as carry out more in-depth profiling of lead and preclinical compounds.

Asterand specializes in the provision of human tissue and human tissue-based research solutions for drug discovery. The firm provides customers with access to human tissue from its XpressBANK™ biobank, which contains several hundred thousand samples from a range of anatomic sites, diseases, and ethnic representation.

The firm in addition offers a range of human tissue-based research products, including primary cell-based models of human disease biology, for drug discovery and development. Asterand’s scientific expertise in human tissue research is further being exploited through its PhaseZERO suite of drug discovery services and BioMAP® platform, which includes a comprehensive panel of human primary cell-based disease systems that replicate cell and pathway interactions involved in inflammatory, autoimmune, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases.

In March Asterand teamed up with 5AM Solutions to develop next generation virtual biobanking software for exclusive use by Asterand and its collaborators. The aim of the partnership is to facilitate broad access to geographically distinct biospecimen resources. Under terms of the agreement, Asterand and 5AM will share development costs to build software providing a standardized solution for the identification, annotation, and distribution of human biological materials for use in research. The firms aim to electronically link disparate biobanks to Asterand’s centralized biobanking operations in Detroit, MI, which will allow the firm to acquire biospecimen and data requirements from researchers and query partner biobanks for appropriate specimens.

Capsant Neurotechnologies offers preclinical assay services to the drug development industry. Focused primarily on drug evaluation in the field of clinical neurosciences, the firm develops assay models based on organotypic hippocampal slice cultures to facilitate direct evaluation of potential lead molecules.

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