InnoSer offers a selection of gold standard cardio-metabolic disease models in rodents, supporting custom studies to optimize the preclinical development of your drug candidates. Learn more about you can leverage InnoSer’s experience and expertise in the cardiometabolic field for your specific drug development journey.  

GLP-1 Receptor Agonists 

GLP-1 receptor agonists have been named the breakthrough discovery of the year 2023, with research continuing to further expand into other indications in 2024. Number of early promising data have shown that GLP-1 receptor agonists show positive effects in cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases and even neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  

At InnoSer, we can provide you with a range of preclinical metabolic disease models relevant for GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as our diabetic cardiomyopathy rat model with progressive development of diabetes and cardiovascular complications and high fat or western diet mouse models to study metabolic dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD).  

Additionally, we also offer a multitude of key readouts to evaluate the effect of GLP-1 receptor agonists. Standard readouts include: 

  • Glucose tolerance, weight assessment 
  • Biochemical assessment (liver biomarkers) 
  • Liver fibrosis scoring by in-house veterinary pathologist 
  • Kidney GFR 
  • Echocardiography  
  • Longitudinal ultrasound to determine hepatic-renal ratio (Figure 1)  
Hepatic Renal Ratio in MASH mouse model

FIGURE 1. Ultrasound allows longitudinal measurements of the hepatic to renal ratio, applicable for evaluation of liver health in preclinical models of metabolic disease. NASH mice show increased hepatic/renal ratio indicating liver steatosis 

Other key readouts such as assessment of skeletal muscle function (Rotarod, grip strength test, treadmill, wire hanging and assessment of spontaneous motor function) can be performed to follow-up the effects of GLP-1 agonists on other organ systems.  

We have also recently shown that a selection of cognitive and behavioral tests constitutes a valuable tool to investigate the effect of compounds in the setting of chronic metabolic disorders and cognitive performance.   

Supporting the Development of Novel Cardiac Cell Therapies  

Due to the very limited proliferative and thus, self-regenerative capacity of cardiac muscle cells, novel cell-based therapies are a highly promising strategy to treat heart failure resulting from different aetiologies. InnoSer’s team is committed to advancing regenerative heart disease research, thanks to the track record of our key team members (Fanton et al. 2015) as well as our offering of models suitable for cell therapy evaluation (such as our LAD myocardial infarction disease model).  

To help support the development of such therapies, InnoSer is a proud partner of the European grant project investigating human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-homozygous IPSc-cardiomyocyte aggregates to treat heart disease (HEAL). This project offers the prospect for a restorative allogenic heart therapy applicable to large patient populations. You can read more about the project here.  

To additionally test novel cell therapies, our team offers you with an extensive experience in performing studies evaluating the survival, functional behaviour and stability of cell-based therapies implanted under the kidney capsule.  

In the setting of efficacy studies, our team has evaluated multiple therapeutic modalities ranging from small molecules, biologics, RNA-based therapeutics (mRNA, ASOs, siRNA, miRNA) and delivery platforms (such as LNPs), to gene editing therapeutics using CRISPR/Cas9 or viral vectors (AAV and LV vectors).  

Lead Optimisation Services 

Pharmacokinetic (PK) and Pharmacodynamic (PD) profiling helps inform for e.g., the most optimal dosing route, dosing regimens (dosage and frequency of dosing), formulation type, determination of therapeutic index, metabolic stability and clearance by precisely determining the identity and concentration of your test compounds in the blood or specific organs. Performing combined PK/PD profiling and efficacy studies at InnoSer is highly advantageous as follow-up efficacy studies can be started rapidly, helping you select the optimal candidate compound.   

liver steatosis NASH mouse model CRO liver disease H&E staining

All studies can be complemented with histopathology readouts. This H&E-stained liver tissue slide shows liver steatosis in NASH mice, graded as stage 3 steatosis score by our in-house pathologist.  

Drug development can be an iterative and long process, whereby InnoSer can be your dedicated partner, offering fast turnaround times with back-to-back experiments to help you optimise your lead compounds. Curious to learn more about InnoSer’s capabilities within the drug development space? View our lead optimisation services overview here. 

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InnoSer provides a variety of validated in vitro and in vivo screening tests for cardiometabolic indications. If you require additional information, feel free to reach out, and we will respond within a few days.

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