News Article

Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc. and Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc. Announce Partnership for Human Stem Cell Based Toxicology Testing
Date: Nov 01, 2011
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Featured firm in this article: Integrated Laboratory Systems LLC of Morrisville, NC

Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc. and Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc. announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership to advance the Stemina's stem cell based toxicology testing platform, beginning with devTOX. ILS will exclusively distribute Stemina's platform in North America and the two companies will work jointly to further develop the platform. DevTOX uses human embryonic stem (hES) cells to evaluate pharmaceuticals, chemicals and formulations such as cosmetics for their potential to cause birth defects if a woman is exposed during pregnancy. DevTOX is a highly reliable model of human developmental toxicological exposure with impressive accuracy in blinded studies of chemicals whose effect is known. DevTOX is a remarkable improvement when compared to existing tests for determining the potential of compounds to cause birth defects. Existing rat and mouse models are approximately 60% predictive of the effect of a known chemical on human development. The development of the cell-based devTOX is also well timed with the increasing restrictions on the use of animals for toxicity assessment worldwide and the drive for alternatives to animal testing. Stemina developed devTOX by exposing hES cells to a set of drugs, such as Thalidomide, whose effect on the developing human embryo is known. Stemina used its proprietary metabolomics platform technology to analyze the metabolic response of the cells to create a signature of biomarkers which are indicative of developmental toxicity against which new compounds are evaluated. The hES cells, isolated in 1998 by Dr. James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin, are approved for use in the United States and the European Union and offer a unique opportunity to understand human development and the impact of birth defect causing agents on the developing embryo in a way never before possible. Stemina studies the response of hES cells and various cells derived from hES cells, such as heart cells and neurons, to drugs or disease conditions. ILS provides innovative research solutions in the toxicology, genetic and molecular, histopathology, as well as environmental and information science fields. ILS has a flexible and comprehensive service model that provides an entire suite of services consisting of study design, execution, sample analysis and scientific interpretation/dissemination. Stem Cells represent a major advancement in the field of science and hold the potential to improve lives in current and future generations. At ILS' state-of-the art facilities in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Stemina and ILS will perform the devTOX assay and develop additional innovative technologies for evaluating the safety of compounds.