NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The stem cell technologies company Cellular Dynamics International announced today that it has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with iPS Academia Japan, giving it access to a patented induced pluripotent stem cell portfolio based on research by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application.
Under the agreement, CDI will provide iPS Academia Japan with "considerations" and running royalties. The move makes CDI the only non-Japanese company to date to hold a license to the Kyoto University iPSC patent portfolio.
CDI, which was founded in 2004, also holds a license to iPSC technology stemming from work by University of Wisconsin at Madison stem cell researcher James Thomson, the company's founder and chief scientific officer.
"Stem cells have such great potential — to find the root cause of disease, to test new drugs at the human cellular level, and to eventually impact individual healthcare," CDI's Thomson said in a statement. "This agreement sets the stage for a partnership that will foster collaboration to move our technology forward."
Last year the company licensed intellectual property from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for stem cell purification and drug testing methods and from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine related to human cardiovascular progenitor cells.
CDI launched a commercial line of iPSC-derived human heart cells, called iCell Cardiomyocytes, last year. Within the next 12 to 18 months the company also intends to release other cell types developed using similar stem cell methods, including liver, neural, and blood vessel cells.