(State College, PA; March 12, 2013) – A number of clinical studies involving antiviral compounds that were recently halted or put on hold may have benefited from a new series of assays being introduced by INDIGO Biosciences. Called the MitoVir Platform, the assays evaluate mitochondrial toxicity by examining inhibition of the ribonucleoside triphosphates that are substrates for the human mitochondrial RNA polymerase (POLRMT).
The MitoVir Platform is based on research conducted by Dr. Jamie Arnold, Dr. Craig Cameron and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that demonstrates that antiviral drugs can get not only into the viral RNA, but also into healthy mitochondrial RNA.
“The cellular mitochondria that are responsible for making ATP are affected by these compounds, which is why we see adverse side effects,” Cameron said, noting that some individuals are more sensitive to the effects of antiviral drugs. “We hope this method will prevent adverse events in the clinic, at least until prescreening of patients to identify those with mitochondrial diseases becomes a part of the process.”
According to INDIGO President and CEO Jack Vanden Heuvel, the MitoVir Platform includes three assays: ATP production, mitochondrial RNA production and POLRMT activity.
“We now have a method of predicting adverse side effects to antiviral drugs in the safety of a laboratory setting, rather than in clinical trials where patients may be placed at risk,” he said. “We’re certain this will be a significant advance in the development of this important class of antiviral compounds.”
For more information on the MitoVir Platform assays, visit INDIGOBiosciences.com to review the MitoVir Platform or call (814) 234-1919.
About INDIGO Biosciences, Inc.
INDIGO Biosciences, Inc. offers products and services focused on nuclear receptors for the drug discovery and biosciences industries. The company’s unique processing method to cryo-preserve nuclear receptor reporter cells, named CryoMiteTM, provides long-term cryo-preservation of cells for shipping and storage and on-demand use. INDIGO Biosciences provides quality screening services and active ingredient determination for clients within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, agriculture and nutraceutical industries and for government research agencies and academic researchers.