Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ZECARDIO (Cardiotoxicity High-throughput screening (HTS) with zebrafish embryo)
Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31
High-throughput screening (HTS) is thought to be key in handling this flow of new potential therapeutics in a systematic and time-efficient manner. But, there is a strong evidence that in vitro cell-based assays and subsequent preclinical in vivo studies do not yet provide sufficient pharmacological and toxicity data or reliable predictive capacity for understanding drug candidate performance in vivo. The model developed by ZeClinics with specific focus on cell and molecular interactions and physiological parameters improves this situation and helps to determine the corresponding responses to bioactive agents.
The aim of ZeCardio project is to use zebrafish model to develop HTS of large libraries in live organism for cardiotoxicity assessment. Our complete system analyses the impact of drugs and diseases in heart performance (Heart rate, Arrytmia, AV Blockage and Ejection fraction) and the performance of the vascular system (Blood flow and vasodilatation/constriction).
The obtained results during the project serve as a breakpoint to ZeClinics in the highly competitive market. Thanks to the project, ZeClinics has become a leading CRO zebrafish specialist in cardiovascular and genetics solutions in the drug discovery industry. This was achieved by scaling up and automatization of the ZeCardio® platform that provides High-Throughput Screening (HTS) possibility. The technology has also been protected by a proper IP protection strategy and ZeClinics is leading an implementation of a roadmap towards regulatory acceptance by EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (ECVAM). These achievements position ZeClinics as leader in the field and way ahead of the possible competitors. Moreover, due to the success of the project, a spin out company has been founded – ZeCardio Therapeutics (https://www.zecardiotherapeutics.com/) - a new biopharmaceutical company based on ZeCardio® technology and fully dedicated to the development of novel and disrupting therapies for cardiovascular diseases.
The main achievements during the project have been:
1. Scale up and automation of ZeCardio® platform;
2. Publication ¨Comparison of zebrafish larvae and hiPSC cardiomyocytes for predicting drug induced cardiotoxicity in humans¨ published in Toxicological Sciences journal;
3. Definition of a roadmap towards the ZeCardio® regulatory acceptance; first milestones achieved;
4. New pharma spin out based on ZeCardio® technology – ZeCardio Therapeutics;
5. Global sales closed with large pharmaceutical companies and top-leading academic centres.