Why CDI

Drug Discovery

Needed: A New Paradigm for Drug Discovery

The discovery and development of new medicines is lengthy, expensive, and prone to high failure rates. It now takes an average of >10 years and >$1.3 billion in direct costs to develop a new drug, with costs increasing every year.  Many in the pharmaceutical industry maintain this trend is untenable, and new approaches to drug discovery are necessary to provide quality health care.

Delivering New Medicines – Faster, Safer, More Economically

Drug DiscoveryCDI’s iCell® and MyCell® products are starting to play an important role in improving and shortening several steps in the drug development pipeline. One early stage in this process involves using model systems that are designed to mimic the human body. These models help scientists understand the biology of a particular disease and screen for the best possible drug candidates. Unfortunately, robust and readily available models have not existed for many diseases, thus thwarting attempts to discover new medicines. Because CDI’s induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived cells are available in industrial quantities and can be used to model biologically relevant “diseases-in-a-dish,” they are being used as superior model systems to identify novel drugs for many conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cardiac hypertrophy.

Reducing Drug Failure Rates


Many potential new drugs fail to launch because of potential toxicity issues and there is a need for better tools to assess toxicity liability. The FDA is actively investigating technologies that can better predict toxicity early in the discovery process, and a prime candidate is CDI’s iPS cell platform. Our iCell Cardiomyocytes have been proposed as a standardized assay for predicting drug-induced cardiac arrhythmia by 2015. In addition, iCell Hepatocytes show promise as an early stage indicator of liver damage, and iCell GABANeurons are being used as a model system for studying neurotoxic properties.

Learn more about the technology behind the development of CDI’s iPS cell-derived drug discovery tools.