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Fate Therapeutics Strengthens Its iPSC Platform

Secures U.S. Patent to Novel Small Molecule Modulator of Pluripotent Stem Cells

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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Fate Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent covering the novel stem cell modulator commonly known as Thiazovivin.  U.S. Patent No. 8,044,201 entitled "Stem Cell Cultures" claims Thiazovivin, a small molecule Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, as well as compositions and cell culture media comprising Thiazovivin.  Thiazovivin is crucial to the efficient generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and the survival of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), in culture.  Fate Therapeutics holds an exclusive license from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) to the patent in all commercial fields.

"The generation, survival and expansion of pluripotent stem cells – without compromise to their self-renewal capacity and ultimate differentiation potential – remains critical to realizing the potential of stem cell biology-based therapeutics," said Dr. John Mendlein, Executive Chairman of Fate Therapeutics.  "We believe that our industrialized iPSC product engine, including our high throughput methods of reprogramming, cell selection, characterization and single-cell passaging, offers a powerful opportunity for stem cell research and drug discovery, and for the potential development of iPSC-derived cell therapies."

The importance of Thiazovivin in enabling an industrialized iPSC product platform was first elucidated by Sheng Ding, Ph.D., a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics, while at TSRI.  Under a research collaboration between TSRI and Fate Therapeutics, Dr. Ding and his team of TSRI scientists first demonstrated that Thiazovivin, in combination with other small molecules, dramatically improves the reprogramming of human fibroblasts by 200-fold as compared to non-chemically enhanced methods of iPSC generation (Lin, T., et al, Nature Methods 6, 805 - 808 (2009)), and that Thiazovivin promotes the survival of hESCs after single-cell dissociation (Xu, Y., et al, PNAS 107(18): 8129-8134).  Thiazovivin is believed to be a critical factor in maintaining the stem cell niche during conditions that might otherwise be detrimental to cell viability.

About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.

Fate Therapeutics, Inc. interrogates stem cell biology to develop breakthrough therapeutics based on modulating cell fate and to enable a new drug discovery paradigm that includes proprietary induced-pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology. The company's first therapeutic candidate is in clinical trials in hematopoietic reconstitution. Fate Therapeutics is a private company headquartered in San Diego, CA with a subsidiary in Ottawa, Canada. For more information, please visit www.fatetherapeutics.com.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and vaccine development, as well as for its insights into autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, the institute also includes a campus in Jupiter, Florida, where scientists focus on drug discovery and technology development in addition to basic biomedical science. Scripps Research currently employs about 3,000 scientists, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students on its two campuses. The institute's graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, is ranked among the top ten such programs in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.

Fate Therapeutics, Inc.
Scott Wolchko
Chief Financial Officer
+1-858-875-1800
media@fatetherapeutics.com

SOURCE Fate Therapeutics, Inc.



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http://www.fatetherapeutics.com

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