Through early access programs with pharma customers, Cellular Dynamics International Inc. is gathering data that show its iPS cells can predict hepatic and cardiac toxicity better than conventional assays. At least one of these partners is now using the cells to evaluate and prioritize development of all early stage compounds that might have cardiotoxicity.

The platform, called iCells, begins with human adult somatic cells such as fibroblasts or peripheral blood cells. These are reprogrammed to become induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and then differentiated into organ-specific cell lineages (see BioCentury, Jan. 4, 2010).