Asymmetrex Will Discuss the Importance of Adult Tissue Stem Cell Time with 3D Tissue Engineers at the 14th Annual World Preclinical Congress in Boston in June

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Congregants attending the “Applying 3D Models for Toxicological Research” conference at the 14th Annual World Preclinical Congress (WPC), from June 10-12 in Boston, are anticipating an important new emphasis for tissue stem cell engineering of drug development platforms. At the Congress, tissue stem cell biotechnology start-up Asymmetrex will present its unique emphasis on what it calls the “third dimension of time,” which applies to its new technology for early detection of drug candidates that are likely to fail later because of poorly tolerated toxicity against adult tissue stem cells.

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In two different WPC forums, Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., will present the company’s unique approach to developing technologies for stem cell medicine. In a conference talk, he will describe Asymmetrex’s innovation in integrating its proprietary stem cell culture designs with computer simulation to produce the first-ever technology for quantitative monitoring of adult tissue stem cell number and quality over time in culture. When leading an interactive breakout discussion group, Sherley will discuss with 3D tissue engineers how the tissue biology time principles that inspire Asymmetrex’s technology might improve their engineered artificial tissue systems developed for use in pharmaceutical drug testing.

3D tissue engineering has the goal of developing facsimiles of normal or diseased human tissues that are more accessible and efficient for discovering and evaluating new therapeutic drugs. Human cell cultures in plastic petri dishes are called 2D systems, because they lack the higher dimension of cell architecture and connecting materials that constitute tissues in the body. In two weeks, at the 14th WPC, 3D tissue engineers interested in developing better tests for drug safety will convene to give special attention to new concepts and approaches for incorporating natural 3D properties into engineered 3D systems.

As disclosed by Sherley in a recent pre-congress interview, Asymmetrex is not a typical 3D tissue engineering company. Instead, its technology is based on specific attention to the dimension of time in 2D cultures containing human adult tissue stem cells. In collaboration with its partner, AlphaSTAR Corporation, Asymmetrex has integrated computer simulation with principles of the special manner in which tissue stem cells multiply over time in simple 2D cultures. Their resulting “AlphaSTEM technology” provides the ability to identify compounds that are tissue stem cell-toxic, for the first time, before employing animals in preclinical studies or human volunteers in Phase I clinical trials to evaluate drug safety.

In his conference talk, Sherley will describe the new AlphaSTEM technology and update progress on its technical and commercial development. Asymmetrex has studies under way to evaluate the predictive power of AlphaSTEM with panels of drugs of known toxicity against human adult tissue stem cells. Asymmetrex and AlphaSTAR have recently begun marketing their prototype technology to large and mid-range pharmaceutical companies for alpha testing. About 10% of new drug candidates are estimated to fail in preclinical animal testing or clinical trials because of adult tissue stem cell toxicity. By detecting these future failures earlier in the pipeline, AlphaSTEM technology is projected to accelerate drug development, reduce its cost, and improve drug safety. With widespread use, AlphaSTEM could reduce U.S. drug development costs by $4-5 billion each year.

In his interactive breakout presentation, Sherley plans to discuss how the same “third dimension of time” principles are important in traditional 3D tissue engineering towards building drug testing systems that are more faithful to the properties of tissues in the body. In many organs and tissues in the body, cell multiplication and movement occur continuously. However, although current tissue engineering strategies are well-focused on mimicking physical 3D features, they largely overlook crucial features related to time like tissue stem cell dynamics. By learning about the essential role of tissue stem cell time in Asymmetrex’s 2D AlphaSTEM technology, Sherley hopes that 3D tissue engineers will be inspired to consider its value in their efforts to engineer better 3D tissue systems for drug evaluations.

About Asymmetrex

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrex’s focus is employing its technological advantages to develop facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in clinically important human tissues.

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James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D.
Asymmetrex, LLC
+1 (617) 990-6819
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