The Technology Behind VistaGen Therapeutics (VSTA)

VistaGen is best known for its development of technologies that could revolutionize the testing of new drug candidates, potentially saving pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars by helping them select the most promising drug development opportunities and create safer variants of once-promising drugs discontinued due to toxicity issues. The company, through the use of advanced stem cell technology, is able to generate heart and liver cells that offer testing options far more accurate than traditional methods. Their Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube platform, by greatly increasing the cost effectiveness of new drug testing and development, is anticipated to also help improve the flow of beneficial new drugs.

VistaGen’s platform is based upon a combination of proprietary and exclusively licensed stem cell technologies, including technologies developed over the last 20 years by renowned Canadian scientist, Dr. Gordon Keller, and Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, VistaGen founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer. The proprietary and licensed technologies underlying the platform provides for the controlled differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into mature human cells specific to drug rescue and cell therapy programs.

Controlled differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into functional human cells could allow the identification of new drug candidates that exhibit human toxicity early in the drug development process, resulting in efficient focusing of resources on those drug candidates with the highest probability of success. The result would be substantially reduced drug development costs along with safer drugs.

The combination of VistaGen’s proprietary and licensed technologies enables the development of 3D human cell-based bioassay systems that consist of large numbers of normal, non-transformed, human cells that function as “micro-organs”. Compared to traditional flat 2D cell-based assays, these 3D cell networks and structures are believed to more accurately reflect the structures and biology inside the human body and are expected to yield responses to new drug candidates that are more clinically predictive of human drug responses.

The goal is for the company’s Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube platform to allow the assessment of the toxicity profile of new drug candidates for a wide range of diseases and conditions with greater speed and precision than nonclinical in vitro techniques and technologies currently used by pharmaceutical companies in the drug development process.
For additional information, visit the company’s website at

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