BioIVT acquires Ascendance Biotechnology

Published: 3-Apr-2018

The provider of biospecimens and related services acquired the cell based assay company, to expand its drug safety testing and toxicology portfolios

BioIVT, a provider of biospecimens and related services, announced that it has acquired Ascendance Biotechnology.

Ascendance was formed in November 2015 from the merger of Hepregen Corporation and the ESI BIO products division of BioTime to form a multinational cell-based assay company.

As a result, BioIVT is adding Hepregen’s HepatoPac, HepatoMune and HepatoStem liver cell and stem cell product lines to its drug safety testing and toxicology portfolios.

“We are delighted to have acquired Hepregen’s proprietary technology and product lines. They dovetail beautifully with BioIVT’s in vitro hepatic models and service offerings,” said Jeffrey Gatz, CEO at BioIVT.

“We anticipate that expanded use of Hepregen’s highly functional, in vitro liver models will lead to greater understanding of the toxicity resulting from long-term exposure to chemical compounds.”

“We have found the ideal new home for our Hepregen products,” said John McGeehan, Ascendance VP, ADME-Tox Product Development.

“BioIVT shares our commitment to excellent customer service and rigorous product quality assurance and quality control. Customers can rest assured that they will continue to receive the highest levels of consistency and reproducibility that they have come to expect from Hepregen products.”

Hepregen’s products employ a patented cell micropatterning technology in which different cell types are plated on industry-standard microwell plates in proprietary patterns. The plates provide in vitro cellular co-cultures that have a longer life and improved function.

Its HepatoPac products feature primary hepatocytes and fibroblasts that have been micropatterned to create hepatocyte islands surrounded by supportive stromal cells. This approach closely mimics the function of a human liver and allows the hepatocytes to maintain normal metabolic activity for several weeks.

With HepatoMune, the micropatterned primary hepatocytes and fibroblasts are supplemented with primary Kupffer cells, creating highly functional human liver tissue that models inflammation-mediated hepatotoxicity. HepatoMune tri-cultures remain viable for at least 10 days, retaining both liver cell and Kupffer cell functionality, and can be used for predicting clinical outcomes.

HepatoStem applies that same micropatterning technology to stem cells.

Financial details about the transaction were not disclosed.

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