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: www.stemscreen.ku.dk

Navigating the online forest: information about stem cells in the era of AI

The internet has revolutionized the accessibility of information about stem cells, but it also presents challenges in discerning reliable sources from misinformation. The way information is filtered and presented online is constantly changing. Now the arrival of AI adds to the complexity.