Curi Bio, a developer of human stem cell-based platforms for drug discovery, has launched its Mantarray Platform for 3D engineered muscle tissue (EMT) analysis for use in the development of new therapeutics.
Curi’s Mantarray platform enables research, discovery, and testing of new therapeutics by providing parallel analysis capabilities between 3D EMTs with adult human-like functional profiles. By providing drug developers human-relevant tissue-specific biosystems in the preclinical stage of drug development, Curi seeks to aid pharmaceutical partners in the development of safer, more effective therapeutics. Curi Bio is currently partnering with several pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of the Mantarray platform and to apply it to drug discovery and development projects.
A primary area of focus is cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases generally result in a gradual loss of cardiac strength and function, culminating in heart failure. Cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-CMs) offer a promising route to model the deficiencies seen in the hearts of patients with cardiovascular diseases. However, 2D cell models currently lack the physiologically relevant structure and function that is made possible by 3D models to examine cardiac contractility (the capability or quality of shrinking and contracting of the heart). 3D engineered muscle tissues have been a growing trend in drug development and research, yet many of the existing programs are complex and require extensive manual imaging capabilities to measure each individual tissue to measure contractility.
Curi’s Mantarray platform leverages a non-optical, electromagnetic measurement system for a direct contractility assessment of up to 24 parallel iPSC-derived 3D engineered muscle tissues to be carried out simultaneously. With the Mantarray platform, scientists can achieve faster functional measurements of human iPSC-derived muscle tissue contractility. Further, the Mantarray platform also provides a method through which to monitor and model both the acute and chronic outcomes of proposed drug treatments on the heart or given muscle tissue area, using its magnetic detection approach.
Curi plans to make the Mantarray platform available to pharmaceutical and research customers as a bioscience instrument. Curi will also offer service contracts and partnerships leveraging the Mantarray technology for applications in drug discovery, disease modelling, and drug safety and efficacy screening.
Leveraging human iPSC-derived cells, Mantarray 3D tissues can also be used to create models of various other human diseases. For example, Mantarray 3D engineered muscle tissues can be gene-edited with a CRISPR/Cas9 system to model Duchenne muscular dystrophy and various cardiomyopathies, providing researchers with more physiological data for the discovery and validation of new therapeutics.
“At Curi Bio, our goal is to provide researchers with innovative human-relevant cells, systems, and data to accelerate the discovery of new medicines,” said Curi CEO Michael Cho. “By providing drug developers unprecedented access to clinically-relevant preclinical models that more closely recapitulate human cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue, Curi is closing the gap between preclinical results and clinical impact.”
Curi Bio, based in Seattle, was founded in 2015 as NanoSurface Biomedical. The company rebranded in July 2020, and also acquired Dana Solutions, which specialised in AI and machine learning to in vitro cell-based assays.