New Hamner - PBM venture says its toxicity testing could save billions in drug discovery

By Natalie Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drug discovery, Stem cell, Cell

The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences and private equity firm PBM Capital Group (PBM) have thrashed out a venture for toxicity testing which they say could save the drug discovery industry billions.

Located in North Carolina, US, the joint endeavour – named Triangle Research Labs (TRL) – will offer biopharma’s an “insurance policy” through predictive toxicity testing on compounds about to go to clinical trial.

And the new business says the speed at which it can identify compounds which would be toxic to humans will save billions in the drug discovery process.

A spokesperson for TRL said: “The advent and rapid progression in stem cell research has produced great interest in not only their use as therapeutics but also as tools for more consistent and available cell types for drug discovery, particularly for relevant human cell types difficult to isolate and propagate from primary tissue.

“Our expertise in stem cell technology, media formulation, combined with our backgrounds in drug discovery at some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, uniquely positions Triangle Research Labs to create model systems which transform the industry.”

Applications

TRL will also focus its services on drug metabolism, drug-drug interactions, in vivo​ pharmacokinetics.

Further services include drug characterization, drug transporters, diabetes research, virology, hepatotoxicity and neural toxicology.

The company is currently working on R&D for virology of HCV, stem-cell derived hepatic models, media development, and in vitro ​hepatotoxicity.

Under the deal, PBM has also shifted its contract research organisation (CRO) GigaCyte subsidiary from Connecticut, US, to the Hamner’s facilities in Research Triangle Park.

Working as an affiliate with TRL, GigaCyte will work with innovative 3-D culture systems, primary hepatocytes, beta-islets, primary and stem cell derived neurons, and newly developed application specific cell culture media.

“It is our belief that this research collaboration will lead to innovative science and advances in developing and gaining adoption of the next generation of predictive tools to aid in chemical toxicology and drug discovery and development,”​ said Paul Manning, CEO of Charlottesville, US, firm PBM.

“We are pleased that the science being developed at our GigaCyte subsidiary can contribute to advances at the Hamner,”​ Manning added.

Related topics: Bio Developments

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