Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pharmaceutical Companies, Stem Cells, Technology / 12.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50687" align="alignleft" width="125"]Misti Ushio, Ph.D. Chief Executive Office Dr. Ushio[/caption] Misti Ushio, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer [caption id="attachment_50688" align="alignleft" width="125"]Michael Graziano, PhD Chief Scientific Officer TARA Biosystems Dr. Graziano[/caption] Michael Graziano, PhD Chief Scientific Officer TARA Biosystem MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Almost half of all drug recalls are due to cardiac toxicity that was not picked up during early screens. These human cardiac liabilities can go undetected because historically it has been challenging to predict how human hearts will respond to potentially cardiotoxic drugs despite rigorous testing in both animals and in vitro systems throughout drug development. Traditional in vitro systems and animal models do not translate well to humans, and human donor tissue availability is limited for in vitro testing. There is great potential for human-induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) to bridge this human translation gap, but it’s been a challenge to train these cells to recapitulate pharmacology seen in mature human heart cells. This stems from the fact that existing experimental models utilize immature human iPSC-CMs which lack relevant physiological hallmarks of adult human cardiac muscle and therefore fail to predict drug responses seen in the clinic.