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VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) Stem Cell Expertise Brings New Life to Discarded Drug Candidates

VistaGen Therapeutics is a San Francisco-based biotechnology company that focuses on human stem cell technology for the purposes of drug rescue, predictive toxicology, and drug metabolism screening. The company was founded in 1998 and has spent the last 16 years establishing its reputation as an expert in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) technology.

VistaGen Therapeutics’ drug rescue efforts involve combining its hPSC technology with the most up-to-date medicinal chemistry to generate new chemical variants of drug candidates that were abandoned by biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies before the market approval stage.

The drug candidates in which VistaGen is interested include those that were abandoned because of concerns about their effect on the heart and liver. VistaGen believes it can work with these discontinued drug candidates to cost effectively generate new, proprietary variants with reduced toxicity. The company’s end goal is to generate a pipeline of Drug Rescue Variants™ and sell them to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies so that they can be further developed, approved, and sold commercially.

VistaGen Therapeutics is accomplishing its goals through the use of its hPSC technology platform, called Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™. The technology allows VistaGen to assess the Drug Rescue Variants’ heart and liver safety profiles.

Though there are other technologies like this on the market, Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ is unique because it allows VistaGen to perform this task with greater speed and precision than conventional testing technology. Often times, companies spend decades and millions of dollars in drug candidates that only result in failure. VistaGen’s model is designed to leverage third-party investments, speed up the testing process, and recycle candidates that may have only been a few steps shy of being successful.

VistaGen’s research initiatives extend beyond its laboratories. In April 2014, the company announced that it became a member of the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium, an organization that supports research into the evaluation of cardiac safety of medical products. VistaGen is committed to staying at the cutting edge of cardiac safety, given that it is the lynchpin for the success of its proprietary drug candidates.

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