VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Dec. 5, 2017) – Novoheart (“Novoheart” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:NVH), a global stem cell biotechnology company, is pleased to announce the publication of its study in Stem Cell Reports, the official journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The study demonstrates how machine learning technology can be leveraged to efficiently analyze rich data content generated from drug screening studies using Novoheart’s bioengineered human heart tissues.
The study was performed in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, the academic base of Novoheart’s scientific co-founder Professor Michelle Khine, and the resulting publication highlights the advantages of utilizing machine learning in comprehending the complex data sets generated when screening drug candidates with Novoheart’s human heart tissue constructs. It was proven to enhance the ability to predict not only the occurrence of drug-induced cardiotoxicity, but also the type of cardiotoxicity, early in the drug discovery process.
Drug development is a notoriously lengthy, expensive and inefficient process, typically costing $2-3 billion USD and taking more than 10 years to develop a single drug, with unacceptably high failure rates of around 90%. Cardiotoxicity has been a major contributing factor, and the use of conventional non-human cell and animal models are part of the problem: they are poor predictors of human responses, leading to false negative and false positive results that significantly compromise overall successes.
Novoheart’s MyHeart™ Platform has been shown to provide superior models for studying drug effects on the human heart, and together with custom-built hardware and software, is able to generate highly accurate, content-rich data. Traditionally, when analyzing data of similar complexity, scientists would be forced to simplify the data by pre-selecting a limited few parameters in order to save time. Doing so runs the risk of losing important information that indicates the action of a compound on the human heart. To fully optimize the MyHeart™ data for detecting cardiac toxicity or efficacy, the Company has invested in developing machine learning capabilities to speed up the analysis of multiparametric drug screening data. In doing so, it is able to facilitate new levels of automation and scale up its capacity.
Using a specially designed algorithm involving the simultaneous comparison of 17 parameters across different experimental conditions, drugs were correctly classified into their functional categories, including mibefradil and cisapride which were both previously withdrawn from the market due to adverse side effects.
“Developing these types of proprietary software and algorithms ultimately allows us to fully maximize the rich data we are able to gather with the MyHeart™ Platform,” said Kevin Costa, Chief Scientific Officer of Novoheart. “This publication provides a proof-of-concept of how leveraging the popular field of machine learning can accelerate drug discovery, particularly relating to their effects on the heart. These algorithms that have been developed can further enhance the predictive accuracy of the MyHeart™ platform while automating the analysis for higher throughput and increased screening efficiency. Ultimately, this has the prospect to not only vastly improve the efficacy of our own technology, but also help other researchers to develop new and innovative ways to determine the effects of both new and previously disregarded drugs on human subjects.”
Novoheart’s publication titled, “Machine Learning of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Engineered Cardiac Tissue Contractility for Automated Drug Classification” was published in the November 14, 2017 issue of Stem Cell Reports and can be accessed online here. Novoheart provided the financial support needed for this project. A provisional patent application has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
“This study further highlights Novoheart’s unique combination of multi-disciplinary strengths in artificial intelligence (software), hardware design as well as biotechnology, putting the Company in a pioneering position to create values for both our clients and investors,” said Novoheart CEO Ronald Li.
Novoheart Engages Trapeze Group for Market Making Services
The Company has retained Trapeze Capital Corp. of Toronto, Canada to provide market-making services in accordance with TSX-V policies. Under the terms of their agreement (the “Agreement”), Trapeze will receive cash compensation of $5,500 per month and will not receive any Common Shares or options of Novoheart as compensation. Trapeze does not currently own any securities of Novoheart, however, Trapeze and its clients may acquire a direct interest in the securities of Novoheart. Novoheart and Trapeze are unrelated and unaffiliated entities, and the principals of Trapeze are Herb Abramson, Randall Abramson and Adam Abramson. Trapeze is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, a participating organization of TSX and a member of TSX-V. The capital and securities required for any trade undertaken by Trapeze as principal will be provided by Trapeze. The Agreement is for an initial term of 180 days, with automatic renewals for a further 180 days unless terminated.
Novoheart is a global stem cell biotechnology company pioneering an array of next-generation human heart tissue prototypes. It is the first company in the world to have engineered miniature living human heart pumps that can revolutionize drug discovery, helping to save time and money for developing new therapeutics.
Also known as ‘human heart-in-a-jar’, Novoheart’s bioartificial human heart constructs are created using state-of-the-art stem cell and bioengineering approaches, and are utilized by drug developers for accurate preclinical testing as to the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, maximizing the successes in drug discovery whilst minimizing costs and harm caused to patients.
The Company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV”) under the symbol “NVH”.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this news release may involve forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that relate to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “estimate”, “expect”, and “intend”, statements that an action or event “may”, “might”, “could”, “should”, or “will” be taken or occur, or other similar expressions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation; statements about the Company’s future plans, its goals and expectations, and the potential applications of its MyHeart™ platform are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the risks identified in the management discussion and analysis section of Novoheart Holdings Inc.’s interim and most recent annual financial statement or other reports and filings with the TSX Venture Exchange and applicable Canadian securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are made based on management’s beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and the respective companies undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.