This installment of Supplier Spotlight® highlights IONTOX, a biotechnology company founded in 2014 and recently acquired by LifeNet Health dedicated to providing expertise to the area of in vitro toxicology, with a mission to build improved methods for predicting human adverse effects from chemical exposure.
What is your company’s mission?
LifeNet Health LifeSciences is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting scientific advancements that can save lives, restore health and give hope. As a leader in all-human biomedical research solutions, we provide scientists with the highest quality tissues and cells to support drug and compound development and discovery. Now, we also offer a cell-based assay service, supported by the acquisition of IONTOX, a leading biotechnology firm. This allows researchers to benefit from the highest quality biospecimens, while tapping into the advanced models and state-of-the-art in vitro testing pioneered through IONTOX, whose scientists have more than 60 years of combined expertise.
What products and services do you offer?
IONTOX by LifeNet Health LifeSciences offers mechanism-based cell assays designed to help researchers understand how a test compound affects cell health. Multiple endpoint assays provide a comprehensive picture of intracellular changes following exposure to test compounds. This includes basic cytotoxicity data, target and off-target toxicity, IND-enabling tests, ADME testing and endocrine testing. We have also pioneered a novel integrated organ platform — a human dynamic multiple organ plate, which represents the next generation of microphysiological systems and allows for the development of pharmacokinetic data in vitro.
What problems do you solve?
Our platforms provide reliable information regarding compound and safety efficacy, relative toxicity, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. For example, our human dynamic multiple organ plate provides a means for understanding how test compounds enter the body by oral, inhalation or dermal routes. Rates of permeability, pharmacokinetic data and cytotoxicity can be derived for parent drug and metabolites. Our scientific experts work directly with researchers as consultative partners to guide and develop custom R&D protocols and data analysis. In addition, our quick turnaround from study design to final report gives researchers the confidence to make time-sensitive decisions, saving money and time.
What are the most innovative tools and technologies that you offer?
IONTOX by LifeNet Health LifeSciences offers panels of assays that allow for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation with a high degree of accuracy. Our models can help differentiate apoptosis, pyroptosis and necrosis. Direct effects on mitochondrial function can be easily tested. Our custom R&D team can help design studies that specifically address our clients’ needs. We also offer the only integrated multiple organ platform with simulated blood flow that has repeatedly demonstrated success in the development of in vitro pharmacokinetic data.
What are your competitive advantages?
Our cell-based services allow us to serve as a niche contract research organization, providing high-quality scientific data that’s more timely than ever. Our laboratory can deliver studies that are GLP-compliant, customized for our clients’ specific needs and predictive of what can be expected in animals or humans. The ability to combine these services with the highest quality biospecimens, including novel human hepatocyte and thyrocyte models, allow us to provide a new level of human-relevance when it comes to in vitro safety and efficacy data.
Who are your clients?
The LifeNet Health LifeSciences IONTOX team has been supporting the in vitro testing needs of pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical, cosmetic and personal care companies for the last nine years.
What new products and services are you developing in 2022?
In 2022, IONTOX focused on the development and testing of a patented integrated organ system. This MPS model enables clients to evaluate their molecules in a system that mimics whole body exposure in vitro. This model is currently offered as a service, but in 2023, the focus will be commercialization of the platform for sale.
Where are your laboratories and offices located?
LifeNet Health LifeSciences laboratories are located in California, North Carolina, Virginia and Michigan (the home of IONTOX, which is based in Kalamazoo). LifeNet Health’s global headquarters is located in Virginia Beach, with additional locations in Washington state, Florida and Indiana. LifeNet Health’s European headquarters is located in Vienna, Austria.