MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing. This lab innovation is based on previous scientific work from the group of Prof. Dr. Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann, Director of the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the UMG. Under the terms of the non-exclusive license agreement UMG will receive an upfront payment and, besides royalties, annual minimum license fees.
Unwanted side effects affecting the heart are among the most common causes for the high attrition rate in drug development. Furthermore, cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of death in Germany, accounting for almost 40% of the annual mortalities. Hence, preclinical testing for both cardiac toxicity as well as drug efficacy is an important precondition for successful drug development. Currently, these tests are primarily performed in cell cultures or animal models. Because these models do not accurately reflect human physiology, there is a concern of limited predictive value as to clinical relevance of the obtained knowledge. Instead, tissue-engineered and lab-grown human tissues can much better reflect physiological conditions. The newly developed multi-well tissue plate at UMG (currently at a 48-well format) allows for a standardized generation of human heart muscle under defined conditions from stem cells in a simple one-step procedure. The culture format was designed to be ready for automation and analytic monitoring of tissue function without manual handling – enabling effective high-throughput drug testing. The platform can be easily adapted for use with other tissue formats.
Tissue Systems Holding GmbH is a biotech company founded in 2012, which owns and commercializes technologies in the field of tissue engineering particularly in cardiology. The daughter company Myriamed GmbH (www.myriamed.com) is the operative arm and commercializes these technologies as a service provider for drug and toxicity screenings.
University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) brings together the Medical Faculty and the University Clinic under one roof. It focuses on research on socially important diseases. These research areas are intended to provide a transfer from basic research to clinical practice. The UMG is the only maximum care hospital in southern Lower Saxony and is involved in three clinical and research areas: neurosciences, cardiovascular diseases and oncology. Since 2003 UMG and University of Göttingen have been University of Göttingen public law foundation. The UMG is also the largest employer in the region in southern Lower Saxony.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH is a fully owned technology transfer organization by the University of Göttingen and acts on behalf of nine research institutions in Lower Saxony as a technology transfer interface to companies around the world. The IP portfolio managed by MBM ScienceBridge covers innovation in the areas of Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture, Forestry and Medical Technologies.
photo: Multi-well tissue plate (48-well format) for automated cardiotoxic or drug screening. In each well a fully functional heart muscle tissue ring has been produced around two flexible pins, which can be easily monitored by automated video analysis. Source: T. Meyer.