MADISON, Wis., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) today announced an expansion of its existing distribution agreement with iPS Academia Japan, Inc. to include iCell® Neurons and iCell Endothelial Cells. The original distribution agreement, announced on June 8, 2011, covered the distribution of CDI's iCell Cardiomyocytes, the first commercially available product based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), in Japan.
CDI is the world's largest manufacturer of human cellular tools for drug discovery and safety derived from iPSCs. The company currently manufactures iCell Cardiomyocytes, iCell Neurons and iCell Endothelial Cells with several other cell types, including liver cells, in development.
iPS Academia Japan was originally established to manage the patents and technology arising from the work of Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD of Kyoto University. CDI was the first foreign company granted a license to Yamanaka's iPSC patent portfolio by iPS Academia Japan, announced in May 2010.
"The reliability and consistent quality of CDI's cardiomyocytes have proven to be a valuable product offering to our academic and pharmaceutical customers," said Shosaku Murayama, President and CEO of iPS Academia Japan. "We're already seeing demand for additional human cell types manufactured by CDI by our Japanese customers."
Robert Palay, CEO and chairman of the board of CDI, noted, "We view the expansion of our distribution agreement with iPS Academia Japan as a vote of confidence in our ability to provide human iPSC-derived cells in the quantity, quality and purity required for scientists to realize the full potential of their experiments. We look forward to future growth of our relationship with iPS Academia Japan as we launch new human cell types and in vitro human disease models."
About Cellular Dynamics International
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development, cell therapy, tissue engineering and organ regeneration. CDI harnesses its unique manufacturing technology to produce differentiated tissue cells from any individual's stem cell line in industrial quality, quantity and purity. CDI is accelerating the adoption of pluripotent stem cell technology, adapting its methods to fit into standard clinical practice by the creation of individual stem cell lines from a standard blood draw. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. CDI's facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin. See www.cellulardynamics.com.
About iPS Academia Japan, Inc.
iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (AJ) is an affiliate of Kyoto University, and its main role is, among other activities, to manage and utilize the patents and other intellectual properties held/controlled by Kyoto University and other universities in the field of iPSC technologies so that the research results contribute to health and welfare worldwide.
AJ was established in Kyoto in June 2008. AJ's patent portfolio consists of about 60 patent families (the total number of patent applications is about 220 cases) in the iPSC technology as of March 2012, and about 50 license arrangements have been executed with domestic or international enterprises. See http://ips-cell.net.
SOURCE Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.