ATCC, iPS Academia sign patent license agreement to distribute iPS cells

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ATCC, the premier biological materials resource and standards organization, and iPS Academia Japan Inc, based in Kyoto, have signed a worldwide non-exclusive licensing agreement for AJ’s induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell patent portfolio. The portfolio arises from work by Professor Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at the University of Kyoto.

AJ has granted the license to ATCC, and ATCC has acquired the rights to create, modify, differentiate, manufacture, and distribute iPS cells. With this agreement, ATCC plans to establish an iPS cell repository to ensure that researchers around the world have ready access to these important biomedical research tools. Like all cells in ATCC repositories, the iPS cell lines will undergo rigorous quality testing to provide a trustworthy standard for both basic and applied biomedical researchers.

“ATCC is one of only a few organizations worldwide to have obtained a license to AJ’s intellectual property portfolio in this important and rapidly growing field of research,” said Sherry Challberg, Senior Director of Corporate Business Development. “This agreement demonstrates ATCC’s continuing commitment to providing scientists with valuable in vitro systems that enhance life science research and therapeutic development.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ATCC will distribute iPS cells and cells derived from iPS cells for research use and for defined commercial applications. AJ will receive royalties from ATCC. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“ATCC’s mission is to bring cell research assets, like iPS cell lines and their derivatives, to the global research community,” said Brian Pollok, ATCC President. “ATCC will invest in advancing the iPS cell technology platform, with the intent to serve as an innovative partner with our customers and collaborators.”

“iPS Academia Japan is pleased to build a faithful relationship with ATCC, a well-established organization in the life science field. Because of ATCC’s significant role in the research community, we believe that ATCC’s distribution of iPS cells will accelerate research and development for practical use of the iPS cell technology,” said Osamu Yoshida, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of AJ. “Almost three years have passed from our establishment, and we have seen the rapid development and growth of this field. We hope for the further advance of the iPS cell technology and its practical use this year and will to continue to support expanding the iPS cell technology by licensing our patent portfolio.”

Produced without the involvement or destruction of human embryos, iPS cells have wide-ranging potential implications including reduced animal testing, the generation of improved in vitro tissue models, and future development of replacement tissues for human transplantation. Because of their scientific promise and ethical attribute, iPS cell research is one of the most active areas of biological investigation internationally.

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I knew a grad student (chemistry) from Kyoto University. He left because they were so committed to developing for business sake rather than research for progress sake. Sounds like they are breeding intellectual robots for the production line.

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