VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) Continues to Move Forward with Revolutionary Drug Testing Technology

VistaGen is a biotech company focused on using stem cell technology to generate new, safer variants (drug rescue variants) of once-promising small molecule drug candidates that were developed but ultimately discontinued by large pharmaceutical companies due to heart or liver toxicity issues. VistaGen aims to use their proprietary stem cell technology as a previously unavailable cost effective way to re-examine and ultimately “rescue” such lost drugs, thereby recovering the value from what is usually a substantial prior investment in research and development.

The company recognizes the drug discovery and development crisis facing the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, where increasingly big investments are required for new drug development but not enough new drugs are being finally approved. Using its technology to derive mature human heart and liver cells from pluripotent stem cells, VistaGen continues to develop unique bioassay systems for assessing potential toxicity issues right in the laboratory, providing a way for researchers to successfully modify drug candidates using an economical tweak and test approach.

It’s a development that combines human pluripotent stem cell technology with modern medicinal chemistry to create an important new tool for drug research and development. With human heart cells and liver cells derived from pluripotent stem cells, VistaGen believes that their principal products, CardioSafe 3D™ and LiverSafe 3D™, will allow them to assess the heart toxicity, liver toxicity, and metabolism profile of new drug candidates with greater speed and precision than animal testing and traditional cellular assays currently used in the drug development process.

Although this represents an important new capability that could save the pharmaceutical industry billions of dollars in development costs which might otherwise be lost, VistaGen sees it as a tool that they themselves can use to build a pipeline of resuscitated drug candidates. The company plans to license their drug rescue variants to pharmaceutical companies pursuant to development and marketing arrangements designed to generate optimum revenue. They are also exploring opportunities to advance nonclinical development of potential cell therapy and regenerative medicine pilot programs focused on blood, cartilage, heart, liver, and pancreas cells, based on the proprietary differentiation and production capabilities of their stem cell technology platform.

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