Polystyrene-based platform launched initially as off-the-shelf 12-well culture plate.

LGC and Reinnervate agreed on a nonexclusive distribution deal for the latter’s newly launched alvetex® technology for 3-D cell culture. The firms will also work together to exploit the alvetex platform for generating realistic 3-D cell models for drug discovery and development.

One of the key areas of research will be the development of liver cell cultures that closely mimic the structure and function of native liver tissue. Reinnervate claims data generated by LGC has already confirmed that liver cells grown in alvetex produce higher levels of key enzymes involved in drug metabolism and demonstrate improved responses to known cytotoxic compounds than liver cells grown in conventional 2-D culture.

Alvetex is a polystyrene scaffold that enables routine 3-D cell culture. LGC is the first firm to sign up as a distributor for the product, which was officially launched a couple of days ago in a 12-well plate format designed as an off-the-shelf, ready-to-use product. Reinnervate says it has extensively tested and validated the technology using a range of cell types including liver, skin, cancer, and stem cells.

The firm plans to launch alvetex in a wider range of formats over the next 12–18 months including standard multiwell plates suitable for high-throughput drug screening, and well as inserts that will enable long-term 3-D cell culture over several weeks.

“Alvetex is a game-changing technology that has the potential to revolutionize the use and value of cell-based applications in basic and industrial research, and as such is in great demand,” claims Ashley Cooper, CEO. “In order to meet this demand, Reinnervate aims to partner with a number of nonexclusive distributors of research products around the world.”

U.K.-based Reinnervate specializes in the development of enabling technologies to facilitate research into cell growth, differentiation, and function in vitro. LGC is also one of the distributors for the firm’s recently launched small molecule product, ec23®, which has been developed to mediate the controlled and reproducible differentiation of cells in culture. Launched in September, ec23 is a synthetic retinoid based on all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a molecule which has been well-characterized as a modulator of cell function and neural development, Reinnervate notes. The firm says that in contrast with ATRA and other naturally occurring retinoids that are unstable and degrade readily on exposure to light, ec23 is completely stable and acts as a more potent inducer of neurogenesis than ATRA.

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