Sigma Life Science obtained a worldwide license to Kyoto University’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) patent portfolio in return for a license fee paid to iPS Academia Japan (iPS AJ). The Sigma-Aldrich biological product and services business is already exploiting a zinc finger protein platform and stem cell technology portfolio.
The company says the licensed technology will enable it to develop new tools for drug discovery and preclinical research, including iPSCs, iPSC-derived primary cells, assays, custom cell lines, and ADME/Tox services.
“Researchers currently use primary cells derived from techniques that lack consistency and the ability to genetically engineer cells,” states David Smoller, Ph.D., Sigma-Aldrich CSO. “Using the Kyoto IPSC technology and our zinc finger protein technologies, we hope to generate stable, defined sets of cells and subsequently derived tissues whose predictive power will allow us to develop a new paradigm in assay development.”
iPS Academia Japan was established in 2008 to act as the technology transfer arm for the iPSC platform developed by researchers at Kyoto University. The company is responsible for commercializing the technology and granting licenses to the IP for applications in pharmaceutical research, drug discovery, and healthcare. iPS AJ also provides researchers with human iPSCs to support R&D related to iPSC technology. Existing licensees of the IP include ATCC, AxioGenesis, Cellectis, Cellular Dynamics, Ipierian, ReproCell, DNAVec, Takara, and Univercell.