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VistaGen Therapeutics Inc. (VSTA) Gains Major Benefits from Key Collaboration

Of all the factors contributing to the success of VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing human pluripotent stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy, perhaps the most important is the company’s long-term Sponsored Research Collaboration Agreement with Toronto’s University Health Network and key researcher, Dr. Gordon Keller, co-founder of VistaGen. The agreement, recently extended through at least September of 2017, covers a number of programs designed to advance and support VistaGen’s core drug rescue activities as well as its potential cell therapy and drug discovery applications.

VistaGen is best known for its revolutionary approach to early drug candidate safety testing, allowing drug companies to save millions or even billions of dollars by providing accurate drug safety testing earlier than ever before possible. The company’s core drug rescue activities are currently centered on heart and liver toxicity:

• CardioSafe 3D™ is a human heart cell-based bioassay system focused on “rescuing” (generating new, safer small molecule variants of) once-promising small molecule drug candidates discontinued in preclinical development due to heart toxicity.
• LiverSafe 3D™ is a new liver cell-based bioassay system being developed for rescuing small molecule drug candidates discontinued in preclinical development due to liver toxicity or metabolism issues.

VistaGen has strategic relationship with Dr. Keller who, together with Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, the company’s President and CSO, founded VistaGen. Dr. Keller still serves as the Chairman of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. VistaGen has exclusive licenses to patented stem cell technologies originally discovered and developed by Dr. Keller.

The goal of VistaGen’s collaboration with Dr. Keller and UHN is the development of mature and functional heart cells for multiple therapeutic and commercial applications, including drug rescue and cell therapy. The company has expanded its mission to include a range of potential therapeutic and commercial applications involving liver, cartilage, beta-islet and blood cells. VistaGen recently licensed important stem cell technology from UHN as a result of the collaboration, and anticipates additional license agreements in the years to come.

For additional information, visit the company’s website at

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