Novoheart Licenses Harvard Technology
to Develop Next-Generation Human Heart-in-a-Jar
Novoheart engineered the world’s first “human heart-in-a-jar” as part of its proprietary MyHeart™ platform
Novoheart receives exclusive license from Harvard University to integrate pioneering bioreactor technology that accommodates model ventricles and optional valves into the “human heart-in-a-jar” model
The resultant next-generation model will have unparalleled biofidelity as well as enhanced predictive accuracy, capacity and versatility for broader commercial applications in drug discovery and pre-clinical testing for safety and efficacy
VANCOUVER, BC – 16 December, 2019 – Novoheart (“Novoheart” or the “Company”) (TSXV: NVH; FWB: 3NH), a global stem cell biotech company that invented and commercialized the world’s first and only “human heart-in-a-jar” model for drug discovery and development, is pleased to announce an exclusive licensing agreement with Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development.
The agreement enables Novoheart to combine its state-of-the-art MyHeartTM Platform with Harvard’s pioneering tissue-engineered scale model of the heart ventricle and bioreactor technology. The valved bioreactor technology was developed in the lab of Kevin Kit Parker, PhD, who is the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a Core Faculty member at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a Principal Faculty Member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. The resultant next-generation “human heart-in-a-jar” is expected to offer a superior human heart model for disease modeling, drug discovery and development, with unmatched biofidelity as well as significantly enhanced predictive accuracy, capacity and versatility.
Novoheart Co-founder and CSO Kevin Costa commented, “By integrating Harvard’s valved bioreactor technology with our own proprietary human heart-in-a-jar, Novoheart will advance its disease modeling capabilities to an unprecedented level of biofidelity for in vitro human cardiac assays. It will lead to the development of next-generation heart models that would be impossible in the absence of functional valves, including for highly prevalent heart diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The models can be directly applied to the discovery of new therapeutics targeting such diseases.”
The academic work led by Luke MacQueen, a research associate in the Parker Lab and the Wyss Institute, recently received a best poster award at the fall meeting of the Materials Research Society.
Parker said, “My lab develops engineered cardiovascular tissue in order to better understand the physiology of the system, better identify the causes and mechanisms of disease, and develop regenerative solutions for patients in need. While we continue that work at Harvard, it is gratifying to see our innovations adopted into a platform with immediate relevance to the discovery and development of new therapeutics.”
Novoheart’s approach marks an important step away from using mice in traditional testing models, which have limited predictive ability for drug discovery due to key differences in genetic makeup and physiology. Novoheart’s proprietary human-specific heart models offer an innovative and powerful platform to develop new therapies and test for safety and efficacy.
Novoheart Co-founder and CEO Ronald Li commented, “Novoheart’s human heart-in-a-jar is already in use by our various pharma and biotech clients. We anticipate that incorporating Harvard’s technology will broaden our commercial applications and offerings for facilitated drug discovery and development.”
Novoheart is a global stem cell biotechnology company pioneering an array of next-generation human heart tissue prototypes. It is the first company in the world to have engineered miniature living human heart pumps that can revolutionize drug discovery, helping to save time and money for developing new therapeutics. Also known as 'human heart-in-a-jar', Novoheart’s bio-artificial human heart constructs are created using state-of-the-art and proprietary stem cell and bioengineering approaches and are utilized by drug developers for accurate preclinical testing of the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, maximizing the successes in drug discovery whilst minimizing costs and harm caused to patients. With the recent acquisition of Xellera Therapeutics Limited for manufacturing Good Manufacturing Product (GMP)-grade clinical materials, Novoheart is now developing gene- and cell-based therapies as well as next-generation therapeutics for cardiac repair or regeneration.
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Ronald Li, CEO
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