VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 11/30/17 -- Novoheart ("Novoheart" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: NVH), a global stem cell biotechnology company, today announced that it has filed a provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a versatile bioreactor platform that is used to culture, stimulate, and monitor the function of multiple engineered human-tissue organoids. The proprietary bioreactor system, which comprises hardware for organoid maintenance, manipulation and recording, together with customized software for seamless data processing and analysis, is designed to increase throughput, deliver heightened consistency, and extend stimulation and monitoring capabilities. Ultimately, the new technology enhances Novoheart's capacity and further expands its ability to identify promising bioactive therapeutics, classify toxicity of unknown drugs and pioneer innovative methods of addressing diseases or disorders.
Drug development is a notoriously lengthy, expensive and inefficient process, typically costing US$2-3bn and taking more than 10 years to develop a single drug, with unacceptably high failure rates of around 90%. Cardiac toxicity has been a major contributing factor, and conventional non-human cell and animal models are part of the problem: they are poorly predictive of human responses, leading to false negative and false positive results that compromise overall successes. Bioartificial tissue-engineered organoids represent a potent technology to revolutionize drug screening by improving the ability to predict the effects of newly developed drugs in a human-specific model system. The expected results are minimized patient harm and significantly reduced screening costs through eliminating toxic drug candidates early in pre-clinical development. The provisional patent covers the design of a bioreactor platform for tissue-engineered human organoids with an array of innovative tools to support organoid development and improve analysis of their functional response to therapeutics.
The first applications of the bioreactor will be to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of cardioactive drugs on human ventricular cardiac organoid chambers (hvCOC), a part of Novoheart's MyHeart™ Platform. The modular design of the bioreactor allows multiple organoids to be combined for increased throughput of the semi-automated culture and testing process. Additionally, the interconnected bioreactor design makes it uniquely able to simultaneously culture a variety of bio-engineered organoids, such as liver, kidney or brain organoids, and allow them to communicate with one another through a circulatory-like fluidic system, simulating how organs react to drugs as an integrated system. The provisional patent application is expected to mature into a full patent and provide commercial protection for the bioreactor technology.
"The pinnacle of Novoheart's MyHeart™ Platform is the hvCOC, or human heart-in-a-jar, which provides a unique combination of electrophysiology and contractility measures most informative to cardiologists," said Novoheart CSO Kevin Costa. "By automating some of the existing labor-intensive processes such as data acquisition and analysis, this patent application represents the introduction of a very exciting new combination of hardware and software that will enable us to increase not only the quantity but the quality of hvCOCs that can be tested, and begin to integrate these with other organoid systems in a way that captures the complex systems-level physiology of the human body."
Novoheart CEO Ronald Li said, "The result is that we will be able to deliver more predictive pre-clinical assays for our clients that will help them significantly reduce costs, ensure safety and efficacy of new therapeutics, and maximize success rates, thereby ultimately creating new values to our investors."
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 bioartificial human heart constructs are created using state-of-the-art stem cell and bioengineering approaches, and are utilized by drug developers for accurate preclinical testing as to the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, maximizing the successes in drug discovery whilst minimizing costs and harm caused to patients.
The Company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXV") under the symbol "NVH".
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Information set forth in this news release may involve forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that relate to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", and "intend", statements that an action or event "may", "might", "could", "should", or "will" be taken or occur, or other similar expressions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation; statements about the Company's future plans, its goals and expectations, and the potential applications of its MyHeart™ platform are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the risks identified in the management discussion and analysis section of Novoheart Holdings Inc.'s interim and most recent annual financial statement or other reports and filings with the TSX Venture Exchange and applicable Canadian securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and the respective companies undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.
Ronald Li, CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
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