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Preclinical costs reduced by new human cell culture system from Northern Germany

The young biotech start up company PRIMACYT has developed a long-term human hepatocyte culture system that may be used as a biosensor for the analysis of drugs, food additives, and chemicals. The entrepreneur team has developed serum-free long-term culture techniques for hepatocytes. Currently, several other companies are validating this culture technique in a multi-center study. The technology is presented on international conferences in San Francisco, USA April 2006 and Linz, Austria June 2006.

The PRIMACYT Cell Culture Technology GmbH has developed serum-free long-term culture techniques for hepatocytes. These technologies allow utilization of human and other mammalian hepatocytes as biosensors for screening purposes, while the hepatocyte specific functions remain intact. On this basis, new innovative products and services will be created to provide pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as public research institutions with state of the art solutions for their specific demands.

Mikroskopische Aufnahme einer humanen Leberzelle, Primacyt GmbH

The major advantages of this hepatocyte culture system are its robustness and the fact that the hepatocytes remain differentiated and functional for several weeks. Preliminary studies have revealed that repetitive cycles of drug administrations can be applied to the cells. In other words, the hepatocytes may not only be used for one experiment, but instead can be "recycled" and may be used for a second, a third or even a fourth round of experiments. Thereby, the system is designed to reduce the number of animal experiments and to reduce the costs of preclinical studies.

The company is presenting its human hepatocyte culture system HEPAC2 at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in San Francisco, April 1-5, and at the 13th Conference on Alternatives to Animal Testing in Linz, Austria, on June 2-4. "These are a great opportunities for our company to demonstrate the advantages of our culture system to a broad audience" said Dr. Dieter Runge, co-founder and CEO of this young biotech company.

PRIMACYT Cell Culture Technology GmbH has its roots in HeparCell GmbH, originally founded by 4 private individuals in June 2004. In December 2004 HeparCell completed a private financing round led by Genius Venture Capital GmbH. In January 2005 HeparCell started its business at the Technologie- und Gewerbezentrum Schwerin. In October 2005 HeparCell GmbH changed its corporate name to PRIMACYT Cell Culture Technology. PRIMACYT is member of BioCon Valley.

BioCon Valley is the initiative for Life Science and health economy of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. As one of the German BioRegions BioCon Valley supports the commercial use of modern life sciences and bio- and medical technologies in the region. BioCon Valley s tasks are networking, managing life science centers (bioincubators), project management and coordination, and life science specific public relation. BioCon Valley collaborates in strategic partnership to the life science initiatives at the Baltic Sea (

PRIMACYT Cell Culture Technology GmbH
Dr. Dieter Runge
Hagenower Straße 73
19061 Schwerin
Telefon: +49 (0)385 - 3993 600
Telefax: +49 (0)385 - 3993 602

Dr. Heinrich Cuypers | idw
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