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GE Healthcare and Cellular Dynamics International Partner to Develop, Market Cellular Assay Patents

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 24 Dec 2012
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GE Healthcare Life Sciences, a business unit of GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) and Cellular Dynamics International (CDI; Madison, WI, USA), a developer of human-induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines and tissue cells, recently reported that GE Healthcare has licensed CDI to develop, manufacture, and market cellular assays and models derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for use in toxicity screening and drug discovery.

The agreement cones after GE Healthcare expanded its license with Geron (Menlo Park, CA, USA) to obtain exclusive global rights to Geron’s intellectual property and knowledge base for the development and marketing of cellular assays derived from iPS cells. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As the worldwide pharmaceutical industry is looking to reduce drug development expenses and bring more effective, safer drugs to market, the availability of more biologically pertinent and predictive cell models becomes increasingly significant. GE Healthcare is pioneering the development of human cell-based assays and models for use in drug discovery and predictive toxicity screening. In 2010, the company launched Cytiva cardiomyocytes (human heart cells) stem cell-based assays that are already helping pharmaceutical companies identify drug candidates that demonstrate toxic effects much earlier in the discovery process.

Cellular Dynamics develops, manufactures, and sells human cells based on iPS cell technology and currently offers iCell cardiomyocytes, Cell hepatocytes (liver cells, iCell neurons (brain cells), and iCell endothelial cells (blood vessel cells). CDI has also launched MyCell Services, a custom cell manufacturing service that leverages the ability of iPS cell technology to make stem cells or terminal cells from any individual, including those with diseases of interest to pharmaceutical companies and academic scientists.

Dr. Amr Abid, general manager, Cell Technologies, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said, “We believe it is important that stem cell-based assays are available to researchers so that progress can be made in drug discovery; 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. We are delighted that Cellular Dynamics International is the first company to work with us to bring greater clarity to the marketplace.”

Bob Palay, CEO of Cellular Dynamics International, added, “CDI’s mission is to provide human cell-based research and drug discovery tools that enhance scientists’ ability to better understand human biology, increase efficiency of the discovery process and ultimately improve human healthcare. The IP space surrounding stem cell technology is complex. With the licensing 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 develops medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement, and performance solutions services help to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. Moreover, the company partners with healthcare leaders, endeavoring to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement an effective shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development, cell therapy, tissue engineering, and organ regeneration. CDI harnesses its unique manufacturing technology to produce differentiated tissue cells from any individual’s stem cell line in industrial quality, quantity, and purity. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Related Links:

GE Healthcare
Cellular Dynamics International

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