Novoheart to develop ‘heart-in-a-jar’ with AstraZeneca

Novoheart to develop ‘heart-in-a-jar’ with AstraZeneca
Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki

Canadian biotech, Novoheart, is collaborating with AstraZeneca to develop the world’s first ‘heart-in-a-jar’ model of heart failure.

The company is working with the Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism therapy area of AstraZeneca with the initial phase of the project aiming to establish a new in vitro model.

It will leverage Novoheart’s proprietary 3-D human ventricular cardiac organoid chamber (hvCOC) technology, that reproduces key phenotypic characteristics of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Also known as “human heart-in-a-jar”, the hvCOC is the only human engineered heart tissue available on the market to date that enables clinically informative assessment of human cardiac pump performance including ejection fraction and developed pressure.

Unlike animal models, engineered hvCOCs can be fabricated with specific cellular and matrix compositions, and patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), that allow control over their physical and mechanical properties to mimic those observed in HFpEF patient hearts.

Together with Novoheart’s proprietary hardware and software, this aims to provide a unique assay for understanding the mechanisms of HFpEF, identification of new therapeutic targets, and assessment of novel therapeutics for treating HFpEF patients.

Novoheart will exclusively own the intellectual property rights to the newly developed HFpEF hvCOC model.