Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) has 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.”