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‘Heart-in-a-Jar’ Could Save Pharma Companies Billions

The Novoheart is a tiny beating heart-like structure composed of stem cells. It's used for drug testing and is changing the way drugs make it to market.

Novoheart / Image: Novoheart
Novoheart / Image: Novoheart

Taking a drug from initial concept to clinical trial takes about a decade and a billion dollars. A recent CBC News article discussed a new concept: a ‘heart-in-a-jar’ that’s posed to save pharmaceutical companies years of development and a lot of money. The Novoheart is an actual beating heart-like structure made of stem cells that could revolutionize the path to market for new drugs.

Creating the heart valves is a multi-step process where scientists reprogram blood cells into stem cells that are then manipulated into heart cells. Millions of these heart cells form a Jello-O like solution that grows into a mold taking the shape of the “heart.” Once fully formed, the mini heart beats allowing scientists to measure the pace, similar to a heart rate. Pharmaceutical companies have already expressed interest, but Novoheart must file paperwork with the securities regulator before divulging details.

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Discover the right packaging solutions for life sciences in Philadelphia
Explore innovative packaging and supply chain solutions for the life sciences at the largest PACK EXPO East in history, March 18–20. Get ideas from 400+ top exhibitors and connect with colleagues and industry experts—all in one convenient location!
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Discover the right packaging solutions for life sciences in Philadelphia