At BioIVT, we understand the value of providing quality product. For over 30 years, BioIVT has been the market leader in hepatic products providing over a million vials worldwide of human hepatocytes to researchers. Prior to joining BioIVT, I worked for ten years at the Institute of Human Virology investigating acute HCV infection. We explored the immunological and virologic molecular response in the early stages of infection and identified indicators that would lead to viral clearance or to persistent infection. It was through a collaboration with BioIVT to develop a primary hepatocyte infection models for HCV that I was introduced to the company and products. I eventually moved to BioIVT to continue working with hepatocytes but across broader applications that BioIVT serves.
The increased interest in utilizing primary human hepatocytes for viral infection models has been particularly exciting for me. While HBV is a much more difficult virus to model, we are working to help make that challenge more obtainable. Although we do not perform HBV infections of hepatocytes in our labs, we work closely with labs that do. While we evaluate our hepatocytes primarily for metabolic and drug transporter applications, our hepatocytes are not just used in ADME related studies. We are exploring characterizations to aid lot selection for researchers in hepatocyte infection and liver disease models as well.
What is fascinating to me is not every lot reacts the same. What may seem morphologically or functionally appealing to one scientist may not suit the experimental needs to another. The utility of these cells can be so broad that often we are learning alongside our partners or collaborators. With HBV, we select lots that have long viability, are highly confluent and have strong cell to cell interaction.
Most recently we have acquired the HEPATOPAC™ technology which offers a long-term culture approach for assessing HBV infection in a single test system. The utility of this technology for HBV was published by Roche in JPET1.
If you are looking for something that is less complex, I would recommend our TRANSPORTER CERTIFIED™ human hepatocytes. HBV gains entry into a hepatocyte via the NTCP receptor. Although we do not measure NCTP directly, we do assess activity of this and other transporters involved in bile acid uptake and efflux. These cells, which are tested for functioning uptake and efflux transporters, and develop bile pockets similar to bile caniculi, may be the best reagent for HBV infection model development. I can help identify these lots and offer recommendations.
Additionally, we have provided various lots of woodchuck hepatocytes and human blood samples for this research model. Whether you work with HBV or another infectious disease, I look forward to helping customers with their research needs.
¹Nicole A. Kratochwil, Miriam Triyatni, Martina B. Mueller, Florian Klammers, et al. Simultaneous Assessment of Clearance, Metabolism, Induction, and Drug-Drug Interaction Potential Using a Long-Term In Vitro Liver Model for a Novel Hepatitis B Virus Inhibitor. JPET May 2018, 365 (2) 237-248
I am currently the Director of Research and Development at BioIVT for hepatic products. My focus is on both new product development as well as support of application development for our existing products. I provide support to customers who need help developing new model systems or resolving an issue with established applications. Prior to joining BioIVT I worked for 10 years at the Institute of Human Virology investigating acute HCV infection.