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Deal could transform drug industry


An Anglo-American collaboration aimed at producing a new generation of human stem cell-based technology could revolutionise the ways drugs are discovered and tested.

Southampton-based Capsant has signed a strategic commercialisation agreement with US biotech giant VistaGen in a bid to step up both firms’ business interests throughout the world.

The partnership will see the leading-edge 3D cell culture research from Capsant combined with VistaGen’s stem cell biology platform to progress the advancement of stem cell-based biological tools. The tools will in turn increase productivity in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Ralph Snodgrass, VistaGen chief executive, said: “Together, we can now provide our partners with the industry’s most reproducible, mature, and functional human cells that grow as 3D “micro-organs” in a commercially scalable platform with integrated analytical capabilities.

“This new agreement advances our common goal of providing new-generation drug development tools that are a vital necessity to improve drug R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Riccardo Pigliucci, Capsant’s executive chairman, said that working with VistaGen would allow his firm “to deliver truly innovative applications for drug development and personalised medicine”.

Capsant was created in 2003 as a University of Southampton spinout company.

Copyright Press Association 2009


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