Using Stem Cells and HCA to Discover Drugs.

San Francisco — Fairmont Hotel January 10, 2013.  While taking a break from my reportage of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and the Biotech Showcase 2013, it came to my attention that I should checkout the CHI meeting at the Fairmont Hotel.  Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s High-Content Analysis meeting was winding down its meeting so I was able to briefly see the exhibits and see a few minutes of a session about HCA in stem cells.

Mark Mercola , PhD. gave a talk called HCS to Discover Drugs for Heart Failure.  Dr. Mercola is Director, Muscle Development and Regeneration Program Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute

Mercola talked was about studying cardiomyocytes with instrument based iPS disease models.  He used the KIC (kinetic imagery cytometry) instrument from VALA Sciences, Inc. to run his disease-in-a-dish screening assay that put iPS cells in dishes to then analyze and identify miRNAs that target heart failure.  His goal is to try to restore the calcium channel in heart failure.

He said that miRNA are efficient to target multiple proteins. He noted that this process to discover a drug is better than with direct targeting.  Dr. Mercola said that he developed a target sensor screen. He looked at 900 miRNA and picked the eGFP miRNA.  He picked the conserved human miRNA and used the best ten.  He checked each sample with the KIC instrument. Mercola created an anti-mir to target miRNA in cardiomyocytes. The in vitro experiments helped identify the in-vitro move to in-vivo.  He simulated heart failure by squeezing the rat aorta to create heart failure over next 3 months.  He said that the increased pressure in the heart leads to fibrosis.

After the talk. I spoke with several exhibitors including Eugene Cho from VALA Sciences, Inc.  The  CHI meeting had about 300 attendees.

%d bloggers like this: