Novoheart, a biotech startup which is the first in the world to have created miniature beating human hearts from stem cells, has appointed Bernard Fermini as chief research & development officer. Bernard previously worked at Pfizer for 17 years, holding key positions including co-chair of the global safety pharmacology department.

Since 2013, alongside his work at Pfizer, he has been the co-chairman of the Ion Channel Working Group of the Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative. He is also a Board member on the CiPA Steering Committee and committee member of the Safety Pharmacology Society, as well as an active member of the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Cardiac Safety Committee and the Society of Toxicology.

The move comes after previous significant collaboration with Novoheart and Pfizer to create miniature human hearts with Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) in order to accurately test the effectiveness of new drug candidates on the specific disease.