DefiniGEN and Atelerix toast coup with US pharma

03 Jun, 2024
DefiniGEN in Cambridge and fellow UK business Atelerix have shipped in vitro liver models to a top tier pharma customer in the US.
Alastair Carrington, CEO of Atelerix

The deal combines DefiniGEN’s mechanistically relevant iPSC hepatocytes (Opti-Heps) with Atelerix's hydrogel preservation technology, which prevents loss of function and enables even sensitive samples to remain stable at ambient temperatures for up to two weeks.

In vitro liver models are lab-created liver cells or tissues that mimic the natural behaviour of the liver in the human body. These models allow scientists to study liver functions and diseases while reducing the need to use live animals.

They also provide a controlled environment for testing the effects of drugs on the liver, supporting the development of safer and more effective medications. They can speed up the drug development process as researchers can quickly assess drug toxicity and metabolism information.

Samples are shipped fresh to customers in assay ready plates for screening and analysis, enhancing the quality of functional assays. This saves research time, as cells do not need to be thawed, and avoids the need for cold chain logistics.

Heidi Kingdon Jones, CBO of DefiniGEN, said: “By combining DefiniGEN's innovative iPSC-derived hepatocyte models with Atelerix's revolutionary preservation technology, we are not only pushing the boundaries of scientific research but also contributing to a more sustainable and ethical approach in the biopharmaceutical industry.

“This collaboration marks an industry first in R & D, enabling higher quality functional assays without the reliance on cold chain logistics.”

Alastair Carrington, CEO of Atelerix, added: “Our technology for shelf-stable science solutions has proven to be a game-changer in the field of biopreservation.

“This partnership demonstrates the efficacy of Atelerix’s preservation technology, exceeding expectations with what is deemed one of the most sensitive and often problematic cell types, to ship fresh and still maintain functionality.

“Working alongside DefiniGEN, we are excited to be at the forefront of reducing the industry's carbon footprint, improving the logistics of biological materials while moving towards reducing or even replacing the use of animals in drug testing.”