Cardiac drug-related adverse effects have been the major causes for the failure or withdrawal of drugs from the market. With a growing global market, cardiotoxicity still remains a bottleneck in the chain of drug development. Despite the large investments in drug discovery and development, the number of approved drugs has been declining.
Current in-vitro technologies assess functional cardiotoxicity relying on short-term electrophysiological recordings (detection of cardiac Action Potentials, AP). However, drug toxic effects may manifest themselves in other ways such as morphological alterations, toxic chemical species generation or metabolic dysfunction. These effects are categorized as structural cardiotoxicity.
Presently, functional and structural toxicities cannot be assessed simultaneously on the same cardiac cell culture in long-term experiments. This represents a substantial barrier to a deeper toxicity assessment. SiMulTox addresses this need with a novel platform for multiparametric detection of cardiac functional and structural toxicity. Starting from the unique laserbased technology of Foresee Biosystems, SiMulTox aims at developing an in-vitro platform that exploits a combinatorial approach of AP recordings and live-cell fluorescence imaging of the same cardiac cell culture.
More importantly, it will provide these capabilities in extremely long tests (more than 1 month) that enable the assessment of chronic toxic effects. The final objective is the commercialization of a platform that will reshape the market of in-vitro cardiotoxicity assessment. The product will generate high demand for equipment in the markets of cardiac physiology, safety pharmacology, and drug development.
In perspective, SiMulTox will pave the way also to new products for assessing functional and structural neurotoxicities simultaneously, allowing Foresee Biosystems to expand substantially its target market.