VistaGen Therapeutics is center stage in one of the most important developments in recent history for the pharmaceutical industry. The California biotechnology company is set to use stem cell technology to transform the way new drug candidates are developed by allowing preclinical drug testing on actual human cells, which is believed to be far more clinically relevant than the current animal testing paradigm.
VistaGen’s revolutionary bioassay system can help pharmaceutical companies avoid spending years and millions of dollars developing and testing a new drug, only to find out in late-phase human tests that the drug is toxic to the heart and has to be discontinued. It’s one of the industry’s biggest fears, largely because it is such a common event. Approximately one third of potential new drugs fail in preclinical or clinical trials due to heart safety issues. It’s a major concern for the rest of us as well, since it significantly slows the development and approval of new drugs.
VistaGen uses advanced stem cell technology to grow specialized mature human cells which can then be used to create novel bioassay systems for superior predictive toxicology. Companies and researchers can learn early on if a drug needs to be modified to reduce heart safety hazards, saving huge amounts of time and money, and giving the drug a solid chance of making it to market. In addition, past candidates that have been shelved for heart toxicity concerns can now be cost effectively re-evaluated in the lab, allowing the development of safer variants.
VistaGen’s “human clinical trials in a test tube” technology gives the company many unique advantages in the marketplace:
• Proprietary differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into mature cells
• Mature cells available for drug rescue, drug discovery, and cell therapy
• Drug rescue leverages prior investment on shelved drugs
• Opportunity to build a pipeline of drug rescue variants
• Numerous cell therapies, including heart, liver, and cartilage repair
For additional information, visit the company’s website at www.VistaGen.com
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