Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have emerged as an effective platform for regenerative therapy, disease modeling, and drug discovery. iPSCs allow for the production of limitless supply of patient-specific somatic cells that enable advancement in cardiovascular precision medicine. Over the past decade, researchers have developed protocols to differentiate iPSCs to multiple cardiovascular lineages, as well as to enhance the maturity and functionality of these cells. Despite significant advances, drug therapy and discovery for cardiovascular disease have lagged behind other fields such as oncology. We speculate that this paucity of drug discovery is due to a previous lack of efficient, reproducible, and translational model systems. Notably, existing drug discovery and testing platforms rely on animal studies and clinical trials, but investigations in animal models have inherent limitations due to interspecies differences. Moreover, clinical trials are inherently flawed by assuming that all individuals with a disease will respond identically to a therapy, ignoring the genetic and epigenomic variations that define our individuality. With ever-improving differentiation and phenotyping methods, patient-specific iPSC-derived cardiovascular cells allow unprecedented opportunities to discover new drug targets and screen compounds for cardiovascular disease. Imbued with the genetic information of an individual, iPSCs will vastly improve our ability to test drugs efficiently, as well as tailor and titrate drug therapy for each patient.
View details for DOI 10.1124/pr.116.013003
View details for PubMedID 31871214