Comprehensive in vitro screening of the toxic effects of xenobiotic compounds plays a vital role for environmental and drug safety. Cellular toxicity can be either functional, disrupting electrical-based activity and networking, or structural, causing morphological alterations, toxic chemical species generation, changes to intracellular organelles, metabolic dysfunction or loss of viability. Currently, functional and structural toxicity have been tested using separate cell-based assays often limited to single time points, thus reducing reliability of the test. Further, toxicants can exhibit species and cell-type specific effects that vary with dose and timing.
Starting from Foresee Biosystems (FB) R&D efforts in the field of laser-based electrophysiological platforms, we aim to develop a multiparametric platform able to combine functional and structural detection of drug’s related adverse effect on cardiac cells. An integrated platform that could evaluate xenobiotic related adverse effects on both functional and structural integrity of a cell, repeatedly over days or weeks and could greatly reduce cost and accelerate efficiency of toxicity screening.
The SiMulTox platform will be the first product to deliver simultaneously functional and structural toxicity data coming from the same cell culture. It will enable long-term AP recordings from the cardiac cells thanks to FB laser technology, unravelling the effect of drugs on the ion channels’ activity. On the other hand, it will provide high quality fluorescence live-cell imaging thanks to the integration of opto-mechanical components enabling fluorescence microscopy capabilities.
The initial market segment where SiMulTox has the most obvious entry is the pre-clinical drug screening/safety-assays on cardiomyocytes, and more specifically the area of the in vitro cardiac electrophysiology. The main market participants are Contract Research Organizations (CROs), CRO suppliers, pharma/biotech companies, academia labs, and medical professionals.
Development of the SiMulTox platform
Platform validation and beta testing
Business development & marketing strategies