Stem cell biotechnology company Asymmetrex and preclinical toxicology CRO DRIK will begin to execute a new partnership that has the goal of addressing a significant unmet need in the pharmaceutical industry. The two companies will collaborate to accelerate Pharma’s adoption of Asymmetrex’s AlphaSTEM Test™ for evaluating drug effects on tissue stem cells.
Asymmetrex Establishes Partnership with Contract Research Organization DRIK to Provide Pharma a First-in-Kind Technology for Evaluating Stem Cell-Specific Drug Effects
Asymmetrex is pleased to announce the start of a new marketing and sales distribution agreement with its new partner DRIK, LLC. Asymmetrex has joined forces with DRIK to promote more rapid adoption of our new AlphaSTEM Test™ service by pharmaceutical companies. DRIK is now authorized by Asymmetrex to market the test service to DRIK’s current and future clients. Asymmetrex is excited to benefit from the knowledge and experience of DRIK’s drug evaluation experts who have an established reputation of providing Pharma with excellent preclinical drug development support.
The AlphaSTEM Test™ is a first-in-kind technology for counting tissue stem cells specifically, without confounding by other types of closely related cells that are not curative. Using the new test, pharma companies can evaluate the effects of drugs on crucial stem cells for the first time, without confusion by simultaneous effects on less important non-stem cells.
Performance of the AlphaSTEM Test™ requires both high quality cell culture procedures and proprietary computer simulation analyses. DRIK provides superior cell culture performance of high quality for the test; and Asymmetrex performs the computational analyses. Earlier this year, the companies’ development teams partnered in studies to establish a high degree of proficiency in the collaborative service.
Asymmetrex founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., relates that he has been quite impressed with the vision and insight that DRIK CEO, Kumar Sripathirathan, Ph.D., brings to the new partnership, as well as the ability of the DRIK team to quickly master the required cell culture process. “Our technology is based on unconventional cell culture procedures. Kumar and his team at DRIK settled into these requirements without a hitch, which has not always been the case in our experience with other collaborators.” DRIK has the expertise and years of experience that complements the intricate study requirements.
Asymmetrex’s AlphaSTEM Test™ service can provide pharma companies information about important drug candidate properties that are not available by any other means. The service can identify drug candidates that activate tissue stem cells. Such agents might accelerate the healing of wounds and injuries, or even have applications in tissue rejuvenation and increasing longevity.
The AlphaSTEM Test™ service can also identify drug candidates that are stem cell-toxic. Relevant to toxicology, stem cell toxicants include carcinogens that are found in the environment. For the pharmaceutical industry, a more important application is for earlier identification of drug candidates that cause chronic organ failure because of their toxic effects on stem cells. Half of the drugs that fail in phase II and III clinical trials do so for this reason. Currently, these highly unsafe drugs cannot be identified until highly costly animal studies and clinical trials have been conducted. The new test service offered by Asymmetrex and its new partner DRIK can identify these costly failures in cell culture, much earlier and at greatly reduced cost.
Although DRIK’s primary role in the partnership is to inform pharma clients of the value of Asymmetrex’s AlphaSTEM Test™ service for drug evaluations, the company will also assist to increase adoption by stem cell therapy companies. A major application of the service is targeted to both suppliers and users of therapeutic tissue stem cells. By counting tissue stem cells specifically for the first time, Asymmetrex can optimize tissue stem cell production, provide quality control for tissue stem cell products, and determine stem cell-specific treatment dose, all firsts for stem cell medicine.
Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Asymmetrex markets the first technology for determination of the dose and quality of tissue stem cell preparations (the “AlphaSTEM Test™”) for use in stem cell transplantation therapies and pre-clinical drug evaluations.
DRIK, LLC is a preclinical contract research organization providing an integrated 3I PlatformTM for pharmaceutical companies (In silico, In vitro and In Vivo). Dr. Kumar Sripathirathan, a toxicologist by training with more than 25 years of experience has helped pharma companies successfully conduct the efficacy and safety studies as part of development effort required for FDA filings. DRIK provides in vivo testing and toxicology tests in its laboratories including cell based assays and 3D models exploring the causes of diseases and potential safety concerns. DRIK evaluates efficacy and toxicity of new agents using biological systems including animal models. DRIK’s premium niche service is in 3D Organ cultures of brain and liver, viable for 30 days or more, a leading industry initiative in providing reliable de-risk strategy.
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