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Plasticell, Sigma-Aldrich Ink Stem Cell Tools Pact

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – London-based Plasticell today said that it is collaborating with Sigma-Aldrich on providing research tools for stem cell differentiation.

Under the agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will use its CompoZr zinc finger nuclease technology to engineer human stem cell lines that can track differentiation to specific mature cell types via fluorescent reporters, integrated directly into developmentally expressed genes. Plasticell will use the cell lines in its CombiCult high-throughput screening system to develop stem cell differentiation protocols.

Plasticell will own the protocols, while Sigma-Aldrich will market reporter stem cell lines. The firm said that cells and media may be commercialized together in kits, and the reporter cell lines can be linked to specific CombiCult screens for differentiation of human embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed, but Plasticell said that the collaboration is supported by a Technology Strategy Board Regenerative Medicine Competition grant that was awarded to a consortium led by Plasticell and including Sigma-Aldrich and Queen Mary University in London.