fully animal-free hepatocyte differentiation

the first set of fully defined animal-free growth factors for hepatocyte differentiation

As endoderm implants are accelerated towards the clinic, giving hope to the potential of cellular liver replacement, we are doing our bit to help scientists working with hepatocyte cultures.  The dearth of animal-free growth factors with proven lot comparability and lot-specific bioactivity data was raised as a concern by labs transitioning to pre-clinical studies and setting up future GMP-compatible protocols. At Qkine we have manufactured the first complete set of fully animal-free growth factors for the differentiation of human pluripotent cells to hepatocytes. Every lot is thoroughly tested for biochemical purity and bioactivity so you can be confident in the media components you are using. Our team are always happy to answer any questions.

why animal-free?

Animal-free growth factors have a number of benefits; they are higher purity, there is no risk of contaminating mammalian growth factors, contain no adventitious animal-derived materials such as viruses and are BSA/TSA free.  This makes them suitable for chemically defined media and smooths the transition toward pre-clinical studies.

what’s caught our eye

Recently there have been leaps forward in the pursuit of endoderm implants, highlights include a promising phase 1/2 clinical trial of implants containing pancreatic endoderm cells to secrete insulin in type 1 diabetics (Ramzy et al. 2021., Shapiro et al 2021.). Companies such as Vertex, Viacyte and Pancryos are leading the charge in pancreatic implants, while Stimuliver, a recent spin-out from David Hay’s lab at the University of Edinburgh, is developing implants to ‘top up’ liver function. As the demand for liver transplants far outstrips the supply, the potential of liver implants as an interim or alternative to liver transplantation provides hope for improving well-being. We are excited to see where the emerging field of endoderm implants goes and will continue to contribute where we can by providing high-quality proteins to the researchers and companies leading this charge.

big improvements from smallest HGF natural isoform NK1

The NK1 isoform is the smallest naturally occurring splice variant of HGF, it comprises the HGF N-terminal and first kringle domain. This isoform promotes efficient differentiation of human iPSCs to hepatocyte-like cells at just 10 ng/ml, resulting in highly homogeneous expression of the hepatic marker, HNF4α. Qkine HGF NK1 is also completely animal-free (AOF), making it suitable for chemically defined media and reproducible scale-up.

find out more about HGF NK1

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