BetaSCREEN, a unique in vitro platform for drug screening in diabetes

With 382 million people affected worldwide, and 56 million in Europe, diabetes is a major health problem for which preventive and curative measures are needed. The treatment of choice is to preserve the functional beta cell mass, and to restore it when deficient.

In this context the Diabetes Research Center developed a high content screening platform (HSC) to assess the effect of drug compounds on cell survival, proliferation and function. The platform has been validated for primary rodent, porcine and human beta cells, but can be adapted to virtually any cell type.

Competitive advantages

This unique assay has high physiological relevance and eliminates the drawbacks associated with homogenous, cell lysate-based metabolic assays, allowing improved quantification and reliability of results. As such, the platform is highly predictive of the effect of candidate drugs on in vivo beta cell regeneration and toxicity.

BetaSCREEN is fully developed and validated for implementation in any commercial HCS system and at any stage in drug screening process with minimal adjustment.

We are looking for pharmaceutical companies and research institutions interested in:
• early stage, in vitro screening for potential drug candidates in primary beta cells
• lead characterization for toxicity and functional assays
• licensing the platform for in-house implementation

Interested parties can contact

VUB TechTransfer
Hugo Loosvelt
[T]: +32 (0)2 629 38 65 or 22 07
[E]: hugo.loosvelt@vub.ac.be

Patent details

Patent application by Vrije Universiteit Brussel pending.
"Screening assay for agents that influence beta cell number and/or phenotype" European priority application (11/2014, EP1297841A1), Inventors: D. Pipeleers, K. Hellemans, Z. Assefa, G. Stangé

Download the full technology offer here