GE Healthcare has licensed to Ascendance Biotechnology rights to manufacture, market, and sell the GE Healthcare Cytiva® brand of human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes used for evaluating potential cardiotoxicity, Ascendance said today.

The value of the license agreement was not disclosed.

Cytiva joins Ascendance’s first stem cell-derived product, VascuNetTM, designed to analyze the capability of cancer drug candidates to inhibit the formation of blood vessels, and which is also being evaluated as a tool for understanding the toxicologic effects of drug candidates on endothelial cells.

Ascendance said the addition to its product line of the Cytiva cardiomyocytes is expected to further solidify the company’s leadership position in the in vitro toxicology testing market, which according to Market and Markets is projected to reach more than $17 billion by 2018.

“The continued expansion of the company’s offerings beyond liver cell-based products to include both products and services based on multiple cell types is expected to augment revenue growth for Ascendance, which is currently driven primarily by our line of HepatoPac® and HepatoMune® micro-patterned co-culture products,” Ascendance President Jeffrey Janus said in a statement.

Ascendance’s HepatoPac® and HepatoMune® products, which contain hepatocytes, are designed for in vitro metabolite analysis, as well as toxicology and efficacy screening.

Founded as a successor to Hepregen and the ESI BIO Division of BioTime, Ascendance develops its own proprietary intellectual property and licenses technology from MIT, Colorado State University, BioTime, and two wholly owned subsidiaries of BioTime, ES Cell International and ReCyte Therapeutics.

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