The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences provides research in environmental health sciences and chemical risk assessment. The company also provides translational research in biotechnology and pharmaceutical safety, metabolic disorders, diabetes, respiratory disease, oncology, and drug delivery/nanomedicine; and a gateway to establish research collaborations with the bio/pharmaceutical industry and countries in Europe and Asia, as well as acts as a catalyst to facilitate life sciences technology development among North Carolina universities. In addition, it offers human health assessment; center for genomic biology and bioinformatics, dose response modeling, and drug safety sciences; and tox...
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The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences and Cellular Dynamics Collaborate Announce Collaborative Agreement to Develop in Vitro Assays Using Human pluripotent stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes
Dec 9 13
The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences announced a collaborative agreement with Cellular Dynamics International to develop predictive in vitro screening assays for chemical, environmental and pharmaceutical toxicology assessments that utilize CDI's human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived hepatocytes. Current in vitro models of liver function employ immortalized cell lines, animal models and primary tissue isolates harvested from human cadavers. Each of these model systems presents limitations in functionality, reproducibility, translatability and availability. Human iPS cell-derived hepatocytes could provide a consistent, reproducible and limitless source of liver tissue that reflects native liver function and may offer significant improvement over existing in vitro models. CDI will provide iCell(R) Hepatocytes to The Hamner for use in an on-going program of research, referred to as 'Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: Toxicity Pathways and Network Biology. This program employs several prototypical toxicity pathway case studies to develop human cell-based assays that map and model key cell signaling pathways in order to evaluate dose response. These assays, once validated with prototype chemicals, should enable toxicity testing and risk assessments based solely on in vitro test results, without progressing to toxicity studies in intact animals. These in vitro-based toxicity testing schemes will speed testing of both important compounds in commerce and new compounds coming into use. More rapid testing will also help assess the backlog of thousands of chemicals for which there is very limited toxicity test data. As these test technologies mature, they could also provide a means to speed drug discovery by providing assessments of safety far earlier in the drug development process. The Hamner toxicity pathway research program is a pre-competitive, multi-organization partnership designed to advance an integrated systems biology approach to toxicity testing research. Partners sponsoring the research include Agilent Technologies Inc., Illumina, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning Corporation, ExxonMobil, Unilever and CropLife America member companies. The Long-Range Research Initiative (LRI) of the American Chemistry Council supported earlier stages of this research. CDI will join this consortium and will collaborate with Hamner scientists on technical aspects of assay development.