GE Healthcare licensed Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a commercial producer of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines and tissue cells, to develop, manufacture, and sell cellular assays and models derived from iPS cells for use in drug discovery and toxicity screening. The agreement follows the recent announcement that GE Healthcare has expanded its 2009 license with Geron to obtain exclusive global rights to Geron’s intellectual property and know-how for the development and sale of cellular assays derived from iPS cells.
"We believe it is important that stem cell-based assays are available to researchers so that progress can be made in drug discovery," said Amr Abid, Ph.D, general manager, cell technologies at GE Healthcare Life Sciences. "Clarity and freedom to operate is fundamental to advancing the use of such assays. Our recently extended agreement with Geron provided the foundation for the type of agreement we are announcing today. GE Healthcare believes that such agreements are the next step to enabling the wider industry to benefit from the use of this key intellectual property without violating patent rights."
“The IP space surrounding stem cell technology is complex," Bob Palay, CEO of Cellular Dynamics International, added. "With the licencing of the GE-Geron intellectual property portfolio, CDI now has more than 700 licensed or owned patents and patent applications. We have built our IP portfolio intending to ensure broad freedom to operate and to offer customers products that they can use with confidence and the knowledge that their subsequent discoveries are protected by this IP portfolio.”
GE Healthcare aims to develop human cell-based assays and models for use in drug discovery and predictive toxicity screening. Back in June, also as part of that goal, they signed a multiyear stem cell science collaboration with China-based sequencing firm BGI to study the genetic variation of ethnically diverse human stem cell lines.