Medicyte GmbH and Reinnervate Ltd to collaborate on development of next generation predictive 3D cell toxicity assays
9 July 2012
Heidelberg, Germany and Sedgefield, UK. 9th July 2012 – Two market leading companies in the field of cell based assays and predictive toxicology today announced a new product collaboration. Medicyte(inventors of the upcyte® technology) and Reinnervate (market leaders in the growing field of 3D cell culture) said they will work together to combine their upcyte® and Alvetex® Scaffold technologies to bring next generation cell bases assays to the biopharma and academic research markets.
Early data, already presented at academic meetings, indicates that Medicyte’s upcyte® hepatocytes combine the benefits of quantity (generation of up to 2000 vials per donor) with the quality of primary hepatocytes. Furthermore, upcyte® hepatocytes, grown with a more native 3D morphology in Reinnervate’s Alvetex Scaffold, seem to outperform their 2D counterparts.
“We are delighted that Medicyte have chosen to put Alvetex Scaffold at the heart of their new product development plans,” commented Prof Stefan Przyborski, CSO of Reinnervate Ltd. ‘The ability of 3D cells to better predict in vivo responses to therapeutic and environmental challenges makes Alvetex Scaffold technology an important new tool for scientists’ he added.
“We are excited about working with Reinnervate to explore the growing area of 3D cell culture. The combination of both technologies will undoubtedly lead to a more predictive culture model without the limitation of cell supply,” commented Dr. Joris Braspenning, Managing Director of Medicyte GmbH.
The two companies did not disclose financial terms relating to the collaboration.
Alvetex Scaffold is a unique polystyrene material that provides a robust and inert scaffold for cells to grow and form complex 3D structures in the laboratory, mimicking the normal growth and formation of tissues in the body. Reinnervate has extensively tested and validated Alvetex Scaffold with a large number of cell types, including liver, skin, cancer and stem cells, all of which have important applications in basic research into cell development, disease modelling and drug safety screening.
Alvetex Scaffold has been launched globally in several formats: 12 and 24-well culture plate, 6-well and 12-well inserts and a deep Petri dish. These formats provide researchers with an exceptional degree of versatility in how they choose to construct different 3D cell culture models. Through enabling alternative applications, such as long-term 3D cell culture over several weeks, 3D cell growth at air/liquid interface and 3D cell growth with different media constituents, to be performed simply and routinely, Reinnervate continues to make genuine 3D cell culture a reality for researchers today.
Alvetex Scaffold was voted as one of the top 100 innovative products of 2011 at the R&D 100 awards and was named among the winners of The Scientist magazine’s “Top 10 Life Science Innovations of 2010”.
About Upcyte® Technology
Currently, the primary cell types commercially available are restricted, and their poor proliferative capacity limits their use in cell-based assays. The use of immortalised cell lines in cell-based models, on the other hand, is compromised by their transformed and not healthy phenotype. Using Medicyte’s innovative upcyte® technology, primary cells are driven into proliferation, thus allowing controlled induction of cell proliferation without immortalisation, uncontrolled cell growth or changing typical characteristics.
Therefore, upcyte® cells and corresponding cell-based assays can become available in sufficient quantities with a consistent quality that can be used for research, screening and drug development.
Reinnervate is an innovative life sciences company dedicated to making routine 3D cell culture a reality for researchers in academia and in the pharmaceutical and related industries.
Reinnervate’s core technology is Alvetex®Scaffold, a unique and proprietary scaffold that enables routine 3D cell culture in the laboratory. Alvetex Scaffold provides a nanoscale environment that supports genuine homogeneous 3D cell growth. Cells grown using Alvetex Scaffold form complex 3D tissue cultures which more closely mimic normal in vivo cell growth and the formation of tissues in the body than conventional techniques. The use of alvetex-derived 3D cell cultures can provide researchers with greater insight into how cells behave in the body in response to external factors (such as drug candidates) than is currently possible with existing 2D or other emerging 3D cell culture technologies.
Reinnervate has generated significant data, which have been published extensively in peer-reviewed publications, exemplifying the use of Alvetex in a large number of cell types and applications. Alvetex Scaffold has been launched globally in several formats: a 12-well culture plate, 6-well and 12-well inserts and a deep well petri dish.
Reinnervate continues to develop its technology for use in the 3D cell culture. During 2012 Reinnervate will deliver further innovative products to help researchers improve the growth and function of their cultured cells.
Reinnervate was founded in 2002 based on the pioneering research of Professor Stefan Przyborski and his lab at Durham University, UK, and is funded by NorthStar Equity Investors (NSEI), management and private investors.
Medicyte specialise in the controlled generation and standardisation of human primary cell products in virtually unlimited quantities and of the highest quality for cell therapy and cell- based R&D. Medicytes proprietary technologies upcyte® and vericyte® enable to expand human hepatocytes from different donors and other cells in a standardised way, thereby making these cells for the first time commercially available in high numbers and consistent quality. Increasingly pharmaceutical companies consider using upcyte® hepatocytes for in vitro ADMET testing.
Note:Reinnervate Ltd (County Durham, England) was acquired by REPROCELL Inc (Yokohama, Japan) in August 2014. Biopta Ltd (Glasgow, Scotland) was acquired by REPROCELL in November 2015. REPROCELL Europe Ltd was established by merging Reinnervate and Biopta in June 2016.