Could DefiniGEN and Atelerix’s new collaboration revolutionize cell model shipping?

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags cell and gene therapies cell and gene therapy Manufacturing

In what could be a significant leap for scientific research and biopharmaceuticals, DefiniGEN and Atelerix have unveiled a new collaboration that allows in vitro cell models to be shipped internationally without freezing or cryopreservation.

The first successful shipment of DefiniGEN’s liver models from the UK to an undisclosed ‘major’ pharmaceutical company in the US demonstrates the potential impact of this partnership. 

By integrating DefiniGEN’s cutting-edge iPSC hepatocytes (Opti-Heps) with Atelerix’s hydrogel preservation technology, this innovation ensures the cells remain stable at room temperature for up to two weeks, retaining their functionality. 

This advancement eliminates the complexities of cold chain logistics, saving research time and reducing costs.

Heidi Kingdon Jones, chief business officer of DefiniGEN, said: "By combining DefiniGEN's innovative iPSC-derived hepatocyte models with Atelerix's revolutionary preservation technology, we are not only pushing the boundaries of scientific research but also contributing to a more sustainable and ethical approach in the biopharmaceutical industry. 

“This collaboration marks an industry first in R&D, enabling higher quality functional assays without the reliance on cold chain logistics.”

In vitro liver models, which replicate the liver’s natural functions, are crucial for studying liver diseases and testing drug effects, minimizing the need for animal testing. These models expedite drug development by providing quick insights into drug toxicity and metabolism.

Alastair Carrington, CEO of Atelerix, added: “Our technology for shelf-stable science solutions has proven to be a game-changer in the field of biopreservation. This partnership demonstrates the efficacy of Atelerix’s preservation technology, exceeding expectations with what is deemed one of the most sensitive and often problematic cell types, to ship fresh and still maintain functionality. 

“Working alongside DefiniGEN, we are excited to be at the forefront of reducing the industry's carbon footprint, improving the logistics of biological materials while moving towards reducing or even replacing the use of animals in drug testing.”

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