Tech: TARA biosystems demonstrates in vitro cardiac biology model mimics human drug response

NEW YORK, July 7, 2020–TARA Biosystems today reported study results demonstrating the ability of TARA’s in vitro human cardiac models to reproduce drug responses similar to those observed in humans. Appearing in the Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, these findings further support the use of TARA’s in vitro human cardiac models as a robust, translational platform for the evaluation of new medicines. The study was done in collaboration with Amgen, Inc.

The paper describes a validation study in which TARA’s in vitro human cardiac tissues were treated, in a blinded fashion, with eight drugs from several classes of therapeutic agents known to increase the strength of cardiac muscle contraction i.e. inotropes. The results demonstrated that the contractile response of the treated tissues were consistent with the response observed in humans. The diverse mechanisms by which the agents studied improve cardiac contractility, showcase the broad-based applicability of TARA’s in vitro human cardiac models for cardiac drug discovery and development.

One of the major challenges of cardiac drug development has been the lack of predictive high throughput models for compound testing. In vivo animal-based disease models often cannot recapitulate the human phenotype due to substantial species differences. Primary cells from patients are also limited, particularly for hard-to-access cells, such as those from human cardiac tissue. And, while induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a promising strategy to address scalability, their utility has been limited by their functional immaturity and coincident lack of response to many drugs in clinical use. TARA’s human cardiac tissues, engineered utilizing TARA’s Biowire™ II platform, faithfully exhibit key aspects of human cardiac physiology.

“This study demonstrates the translational utility of TARA’s human-based platform in evaluating the safety and efficacy of new therapies early in discovery,” said Michael P. Graziano, PhD, chief scientific officer of TARA Biosystems.

Building on the work published today, TARA continues to extend its capabilities across a range of genetic and drug induced disease models and increasing the number of integrated endpoint measurements. More than 30 pharmaceutical and biotech companies are working with TARA to assess cardiac risk and investigate novel cardiac disease models for heart failure drug discovery.


About TARA Biosystems

Headquartered in New York City, TARA Biosystems harnesses innovations in stem cell biology and tissue engineering to generate in vitro biology that recapitulates human physiology with unprecedented fidelity. Our highly versatile and robust platform captures integrated physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function across a wide repertoire of cardiac disease phenotypes. Our data facilitates decisive evaluation of the efficacy and risk of novel medicines, increasing the probability of success and decreasing long timeframes associated with traditional drug discovery efforts. Safer and more effective new medicines that rapidly make it to market means better health and longer lives, and we believe that benefits people everywhere.

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