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Life Tech to Commercialize Stem Cell Technologies from CDI

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies today announced a commercialization deal covering three stem cell technologies from Cellular Dynamics International for the consistent development and growth of human iPS cells for research and bioproduction.

Life Tech will commercialize CDI's Essential 8 Medium, Vitronectin, and Episomal iPSC Reprogramming Vectors, which together address several challenges associated with developing relevant cells, the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company said.

Essential 8 Medium, manufactured in a Life Tech current Good Manufacturing Practices facility, is designed to overcome variability in iPS cell growth and differentiation. Undesirable components such as bovine serum albumin have been eliminated from the media, resulting in eight well-characterized elements, compared to more than 20 interactive ingredients in existing feeder-free culture media. This reduction leads to less variability and the enabling of large-scale production of human iPS cells, according to Life Tech.

Vitronectin is optimized for use with Essential 8 Medium and is a defined, human protein-based substrate that further eliminates variability during iPS cell culture. Combined with Essential 8 Medium, Vitronectin "provides a defined, culture system free of non-human components for robust, cost-effective, and scalable iPS cell culture," Life Tech said.

Lastly, the company is launching the Episomal iPSC Reprogramming Vectors. The product leverages non-viral, non-integrating technology to deliver six genes to start the reprogramming of human somatic cells, such as blood and skin cells, to iPS cells.

"The ability to reproducibly establish and culture iPS cells using defined reagent systems is key for the advancement of stem cell research, disease modeling, and drug discovery," Chris Armstrong, general manager and vice president of Primary and Stem Cell Systems at Life Tech, said in a statement. "The commercialization of these exciting new products serves that purpose and underscores our commitment to provide the most innovative and relevant workflow tools to our customers."

Terms of the deal between the two firms were not disclosed.

The three products were developed by James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin.

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