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

Esteemed colleagues from reNEW elected members of EMBO

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine is proud to announce that CEO and Executive Director of reNEW, Professor Mellissa H. Little and Principal Investigator at reNEW’s Copenhagen node, Professor Joshua Brickman, have this year been elected members of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization – EMBO.

4M euros for research into nuclear metabolism

Associate Professor Jan Żylicz from reNEW Copenhagen node, as part of an international consortium, has been awarded an MSCA Doctoral Networks Grant for project; NUCLEAR – metabolic regulation of genome function and cell identity.

The Serup Group in Copenhagen break new ground on the development of a stem cell therapy to treat diabetes

Assistant Professor Philip Seymour, former Assistant Professor Nina Funa and PhD student Heidi Mjøseng, with colleagues from the Serup Group at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, University of Copenhagen, have had a paper published in Stem Cell Reports investigating further development of a cellular therapy to replace the lost insulin-producing beta cells in type one diabetics.