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December, 2014

Newsletter Volume 9

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Meetings

SOT 2015

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Hepregen will be at SOT 2015 – Booth 629!  Five posters have been submitted featuring HepatoPac.  We will also be hosting a symposium on Tuesday at 8:30AM where breakfast will be served.  To reserve your seat at the symposium, and to stay apprised of Hepregen activities at SOT, please click below.

Register

Hepregen New England User Group Meeting 2015

In October, we held our 3rd Annual New England User Group Meeting in Cambridge

These User Group Meetings are intended to bring together both Hepregen/HepatoPac veterans and newly interested parties for presentation and open discussion.  We often find that one of the most valuable parts of hosting these meetings is the feedback that we receive from our guests.  For example, this year, we distributed a survey to assess what types of kits and applications were highly desired.  What should come up on top, but a Transporter Kit!  The results are helping us tailor our R&D schedule to our customers’ needs, and we hope everyone that attended was pleased to learn of our recent co-marketing agreement with Qualyst

Speakers at the UGM included Dr. Eric Ballard from Pfizer, discussing his work with the HepatoPac multi species plate, Dr. Imad Hanna from Novartis, discussing his work with HepatoPac and transporters, Dr. Vyas Ramanan, discussing Hepatitis and other hepatotropic infections in HepatoPac, and Dr. Keith Goodman discussing using HepatoPac along with AB SCIEX mass spec equipment for Met ID.

If you’d like to access the UGM presentations, please click on the button below and someone will contact you shortly. 

Request NE UGM Presentations

ISSX 2014

Also in October, we participated in a very successful 19th Annual ISSX Meeting in San Francisco. 

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At the meeting, we sponsored a symposium with a special guest speaker, Dr. Scott Obach from Pfizer, which was extremely well-attended (as you can see from the picture).

Scott expounded upon his work with Dr. Ballard (our UGM speaker) utilizing the HepatoPac multi-species plate for Met ID in a presentation entitled, “Application of a micropatterned co-cultured (MPCC) hepatocyte system to predict preclinical and human specific drug metabolism.”  If you’re interested in viewing the presentation slides, please visit this page.

We also featured a poster on work performed by Ricerca using Human and Rat HepatoPac to generate metabolites across 8 pharmaceutical compounds and compare the results with suspension hepatocytes and liver microsomes.  Here is a link to the poster download.

If you weren’t able to attend ISSX, but would like to read a little bit more about what went on this year (from a Hepregen perspective), please feel free to read our blog entry, which features conclusions from Dr. Obach’s presentation and general meeting take-aways.

Publications and Webinars

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Imaging Webinar

On Wednesday, January 14, we will be hosting our next webinar.  Joe Trask, Head of The Hamner Institutes of Health Sciences Cellular Imaging Core will be presenting on the subject of utilizing HepatoPac for High Content Imaging. 

If you’d like to sign up for the webinar, please click below.

Register for Webinar

iPSC Webinar

In September, Dr. Salman Khetani (co-inventor of the HepatoPac technology), presented his new data on utilizing iPSC stem cells in MPCCs in a webinar entitled, “Microscale Engineering Strategies to Functionally Mature iPSC-derived Human Hepatocytes.”  In general, the take-away was that these IPSCs are functional in HepatoPac and show great promise for a future platform unhindered by genomic differences in donors.

If interested in watching the webinar, please request the password here.

Also, just this past week, Dr. Khetani’s research was accepted for publication Hepatology.  To access the publication, please click here.

Boehringer Ingelheim Publication

In November, scientists at Boehringer Ingelheim published a paper entitled, “Altered CYP2C9 activity following modulation of CYP3A4 levels in human hepatocytes: an example of protein-protein interactions”.  The paper discusses how the scientists utilized Micro-Patterned Co-Cultures (MPCCs) while modulating CYP3A4 enzyme activity to determine the impact on CYP2C9.  Their results demonstrated that such modulation does indeed affect levels of CYP2C9 activity in vitro, suggesting that more research might be performed to evaluate possible clinical implications.

Blog

In an effort to increase outreach and education, we’ve launched a Blog, called, “Architecture is Important!”  We intend to use the blog as a platform for discussion on many topics surrounding in vitro testing, hepatocyte research, drug discovery, and anything else that might spark interest and conversation. 

So far, titles include (among others), “What are the MIST Guidelines and Why Should You Care?”, “Hepatocytes in HepatoPac® function WITHOUT the need for Matrigel®”, and “Microchip Technology Applied to Liver Cells”.

New Business Development in the West!

In what has been one of the best hiring decisions so far at Hepregen, we’ve added Ms. Cara Wykowski to our team. 

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Cara is based in the San Francisco area and will be serving all of our current and potential customers west of the Mississippi.   She is dynamic, responsive, intelligent and organized.  So far, feedback from her new customers has been great!  Also, in a little known fact, she is a professional voice-over actress!

If you are one of the lucky people who happens to be in her territory, you can contact her at [email protected] with any questions.

New Human Donors

We have added new donors to our growing list, and will have still more before the end of the year.

All of our donors are extensively vetted before they are released for production in HepatoPac Kits.  For information on all our donors, please visit our Donor Page.

If you want to read a little bit more about what goes into donor selection, please check out our recent blog on HepatoPac manufacturing

Qualyst Agreement

In October, Hepregen and Qualyst announced a co-marketing agreement.  This agreement supports the co-development of HepatoPac® B-Clear® assay kits, which can be used for predictive and mechanistic hepatic transporter analysis. The kits will be marketed by both companies and will contain human or animal hepatocytes (liver cells) in Hepregen’s HepatoPac tissue culture plates. The co-cultures will be optimized for transporter analysis using Qualyst’s proprietary hepatobiliary methodology. 

Keep your eyes and ears out for a kit launch coming up sometime soon!  If you want to be apprised of important information regarding the kit launch, feel free to sign up for updates here