Feedback Experience : Inria Labcom CardioXcomp
In 2013, Inria and NOTOCORD launched a three-year joint laboratory called CardioXComp, financed by the French National Research Agency (ANR). This joint laboratory sought to implement an innovative approach for studying the cardiac toxicity of new drugs.
NOTOCORD designs software for data acquisition and analysis in preclinical studies. Over 1800 licenses for its software have been installed worldwide in top pharmaceutical companies and research centres. In 2016, NOTOCORD was acquired by Instem PLC, specialised in IT solutions for the global health and life sciences market.
The REO project team (Inria Paris) is working on the mathematical modelling of cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The CARMEN project team (Inria Bordeaux) is working on the mathematical modelling of cardiac electrophysiology.
Study into the effect of molecules on cardiac muscle cells is an important step in the development of new drugs. A recent technique based on stem cells and microelectrode arrays is very promising, but provides signals that are difficult to analyse using traditional methods. The purpose of the CardioXComp lab was to propose a totally new approach, based on mathematical modelling and numerical simulation to decipher these signals.
Several new results have been published on the mathematical modelling of the measurement process, identification of the effect of medicines drugs by an inverse problem strategy and automatic classification of experiment signals by the effect of molecules on cells. The overall strategy mixes modelling, simulation and statistical learning techniques. A software package has been developed and registered with the APP (French software protection agency).
Current follow-up actions
After the laboratory’s funding by ANR came to an end, its activities continued in 2017 and 2018 thanks to funding from Instem PLC and AMIES. The aim is to now develop a practical tool providing access to the techniques developed throughout the project. Experimental signal analysis blind tests are currently planned. The target users are pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of stem cells and microelectrode arrays.
The CardioXComp lab has provided NOTOCORD with the resources to work on a sensitive subject, with high potential but currently lacking industrial maturity. Collaboration with Inria researchers has led to the development of innovative methods to extract more information from the signals processed by the NOTOCORD software. Furthermore, the ANR joint laboratory (LabCom) concept requires little administrative management, which is vital in a very small business.
Philippe Zitoun, NOTOCORD Founder and INSTEM consultant