Curi Bio Launches ComboMat Platform for iPSC-based Drug Discovery

Accelerating Maturation of Human Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes for Drug Discovery & Development

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#biotech--Curi Bio, a leading developer of human iPSC-based platforms for drug discovery, today announced the ComboMat™ platform, a proprietary human iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte (hiPSC-CMs) maturation technology. Curi’s ComboMat platform leverages a combination of cues—including a proprietary microRNA cocktail—to drive the functional development and maturation of cardiomyocytes with applications in drug discovery, disease modeling, and safety and efficacy screening. By providing drug developers more mature and clinically relevant human cardiac stem cells for use in preclinical drug development, Curi aims to help pharmaceutical partners develop safer and more effective therapeutics in less time, at lower cost.

Curi will make the ComboMat platform available to pharmaceutical customers through service contracts and partnerships with applications in drug discovery, disease modeling, and safety and efficacy screening.

More than 80% of drug candidates that enter clinical trials fail. Cardiotoxicity, manifested as cardiac arrhythmias, is a leading cause of failure. Stem cells offer a promising solution to model human cardiac tissue but are often limited by their lack of phenotypic maturity. For example, it has been shown that cardiomyocytes differentiated from hiPSCs can recapitulate some aspects of human toxicity in vitro, but also fail to identify certain well-known safety liabilities. The inability to reproduce adult-like phenotypes and responses to known toxic drugs is an issue that the pharmaceutical industry continues to struggle with today.

ComboMat™ is a combinatorial maturation platform that leverages NanoSurface™ technology, media factors, and a gene expression-regulating microRNA (miR) cocktail to synergistically advance the maturation of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. The proprietary miR formula specifically targets key pathways that drive cardiac-specific functional development and can be applied to nearly any hiPSC-derived cardiomyocyte cell line. ComboMat treated cells exhibit enhanced structural, electrophysiological, contractile, and metabolic development. This results in more human, adult-like cell models, and enhanced utility for drug development.

Curi’s ComboMat platform has applications both in predictive safety screening of candidate drugs and in creating high-fidelity models of human diseases. ComboMat cardiomyocytes are able to accurately predict the proarrhythmic effects of known high-risk drugs such as bepridil, while immature cells fail to do so. Curi’s ComboMat platform can also be used to create well-stratified hiPSC-CM based disease models including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) associated cardiomyopathy, and—by maturing hiPSC-CMs toward fatty acid metabolism—metabolic diseases such as mitochondrial trifunctional protein deficiency, which results in sudden infant death syndrome. In this way, Curi’s ComboMat platform enables human-relevant disease modeling, an essential step toward the discovery and development of new therapeutics to address critical diseases.

“The ComboMat platform embodies our continual mission to develop human-relevant platforms integrating human cells, systems, and data to accelerate the discovery of new medicines,” said Curi CEO Michael Cho. “While human stem cells provide great promise in the development of new drugs, they often exhibit immature phenotypes that do not accurately emulate the structure and function of adult human tissues. Human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes that undergo ComboMat treatment exhibit a more physiologically-relevant developmental profile that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Dr. Nicholas Geisse, Chief Science Officer of Curi Bio, will present Curi’s ComboMat platform in a podium presentation at the Safety Pharmacology Society 2020 Virtual Conference.

Event: Safety Pharmacology Society 2020
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM EDT
Session: Dynamic Poster Presentations – Ion Channels/Stem Cells
Title: Improved Detection of Compound Arrhythmogenicity in 2D Cardiac Stem Cell Models via Advanced Maturation Strategies

Curi’s ComboMat platform integrates proprietary methods and IP exclusively licensed to Curi Bio by the University of Washington.

To learn more about how the ComboMat platform can improve the predictive power of your hiPSC-CM assays or about other Curi technologies and services, please contact Curi at

About Curi Bio

Curi Bio’s preclinical discovery platform combines human stem cells, systems, and data to accelerate the discovery of new medicines. The Curi Engine is a seamless, bioengineered platform that integrates human iPSC-derived cell models, tissue-specific biosystems, and AI/ML-enabled phenotypic screening data. Curi’s suite of human stem cell-based products and services enable scientists to build more mature and predictive human iPSC-derived tissues—with a focus on cardiac, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscular models—for the discovery, safety testing, and efficacy testing of new drugs in development. By offering drug developers an integrated preclinical platform comprising highly predictive human stem cell models to generate clinically-relevant data, Curi is closing the gap between preclinical data and human results, accelerating the discovery and development of safer, more effective medicines.

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Heejoon Choi
Director of Sales & Marketing, Curi Bio