On back of Roche pact, newly formed Ncardia wins iPSC deal with Evotec

cell line
The product of a merger of Pluriomics and Axiogenesis, stem cell expert Ncardia has signed licensing deals with Roche and Evotec. (Getty/kasto80)

Less than three months after coming to life via a merger of Pluriomics and Axiogenesis, human induced pluripotent stem cell expert Ncardia has signed disease modeling licensing deals with Roche and Evotec.

The merger happened in September between two companies both focused on hiPSC-based drug discovery and development. Prior to the union, the Leiden, Netherlands-headquartered Pluriomics specialized in iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte models for drug toxicity and efficacy tests. Axiogenesis, besides cardiomyocytes used in cardiac safety and cardiac fibroblasts used in tissue modeling, also has neural cell products for neurodegenerative disease models, neurotoxicity screening and neuronal coculture. These are now the backbone of Ncardia’s product portfolio.

“Our goal is to be the trusted global leader in the hiPSC drug discovery and development field so that Ncardia is the partner of choice for scientists operating in cardiovascular and neural safety and efficacy projects,” Ncardia CEO Stefan Braam said at the time.

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In October, Roche became the first pharmaceutical company to sign up for Ncardia’s services. Through a non-exclusive license, Roche gains access to Ncardia’s modeling patents for drug discovery and development.

Now, CRO Evotec has signed a similar licensing agreement to get its hands on those disease modeling IPs that include the use of in vitro-derived cells for target discovery and drug safety and efficacy testing.

Based on hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, Ncardia also offers what’s called CardioPlate, some ready-to-use assay plates for early drug tests that could eliminate the risk of interpersonal variations in preparing the cardiomyocytes for the desired assay.