StemScreen Inaugural Meeting Showcases Potential of Stem Cell-based Drug Screening

The StemScreen Center for Stem Cell-based Disease Modelling and Drug Screening held its first annual network meeting on Friday February 9 at Panum, University of Copenhagen. The StemScreen network gained inspiration for their stem cell-based drug screening projects from talks by Melissa Little, Professor and CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine – reNEW; and Ross Bretherton, Research Scientist, Global Drug Discovery, Novo Nordisk A/S.

StemScreen is an academic-industrial partnership that was established in 2023 by a 24.5 million DKK (3.3 million EUR) grant from Innovation Fund Denmark and is led by Kim Bak Jensen, Professor and Director at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine – reNEW, in Copenhagen. The Center seeks to pioneer stem cell-based screening for identification of lead compounds for drug discovery. This approach has potential to cut the costs of developing new drug treatments for difficult-to-treat diseases and reduce animal experimentation.

“The pharma industry has realized that there is a huge untapped potential in disease models developed from stem cells. We combine our stem cell expertise with state-of-the-art equipment for image analysis to put Denmark at the forefront of identifying new drug candidates,” Professor Jensen said.

The StemScreen high-content screening facility is based at reNEW Copenhagen and features a brand-new, state-of-the-art Yokogawa Cell Voyager 8000 high-speed confocal-based imaging system: the first of its kind in Denmark. The facility is designed for imaging-based, high-content, high-throughput drug screens of organoids (”mini organs” built from stem cells).

Currently, the StemScreen research network includes nine proof-of-concept projects led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and two Danish biotech companies: Synklino A/S and Bioneer A/S.

Any researcher with a promising proof-of-concept screening project with potential to generate value can apply to use the StemScreen facility.

Read more about StemScreen, high-content screening, and how to submit a project proposal:

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